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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘retaliation’

Parents’ retaliation allegation supersedes child abuse reporter confidentiality

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Grummons v. Williamson County Board of Education, 63 IDELR 61 (M.D. Tenn. 2014):  The parents of a student with a disability convinced a federal magistrate judge to supersede a state’s child abuse reporting confidentiality provisions.  The parents, suing under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, alleged that the school district reported them to the department of children’s services (DCS) in retaliation for the parents’ challenge to the district’s provision of special education services.  The court deemed the information relevant, but in order to balance the interest of confidential reporting, the requested information (namely, the identity of the individual(s) who submitted the report to DCS) would be disclosed to the parents, but was limited for use in the instant litigation and could only be disseminated on a “good faith need to know” basis.

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District’s awareness of ongoing bullying triggers duty to investigate under Section 504 and the ADA

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Sutherlin v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 40 of Nowata Cty., Okla., 61 IDELR 69 (N.D. Okla. 2013)—in this case, the parents of a thirteen year old student with Asperger’s brought suit against the school district. Among other things, the parents alleged that the district acted with deliberate indifference when it failed to follow its own policy to investigate allegations of bullying, by failing to respond to reports of at least 32 incidents. The parents alleged incidents of student-on-student bullying, through the use of name-calling and labeling the student based on his difficulties with socialization. Although finding the allegations insufficient to support a claim of district discrimination, the court found that the complaint sufficiently alleged deliberate indifference with regards to disability-based, student-on-student harassment under the ADA and Section 504. Also, the court found a basis for a claim based on the Equal Protection Clause and municipal liability. On those grounds, the parents were allowed to proceed with their claims against the district for disability-based harassment.

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