Search This Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Problem in Pasadena

In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

At  KPCC-FM, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reports in a lawsuit against the Padadena Unified School District:
At issue is the school district’s Focus Point school, founded in 2009 for special education students with behavioral problems. The school enrolls 67 students from third to 12th grade. 
The suit argues that the school provides an educational experience that is inferior to that offered at other Pasadena schools and that Focus Point's students are denied opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and electives such as the arts.  
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five current and former students at the school, who have disabilities including autism, attention deficit disorder, and emotional disturbances.“Those disabilities are not indicative of their capacity to learn, they don’t have cognitive disabilities that will cause them to learn at a rate below grade level,” said Candis Bowles, a lawyer for Disability Rights California, the Sacramento-based group that bought the suit. 
The suit claims that staff tried to control the behavior of one student, an 11-year-old referred to in the complaint as Tanya Doe, through excessive force and seclusion in what the suit calls "the boring room" and the district calls "the reflection room."