Wake County Schools

Disability advocates file complaint against Wake schools

Posted July 19, 2012

— In the latest in a series of civil rights complaints against the Wake County Public School System, a group of advocates for students with disabilities charges that those students are not getting the education they deserve.

Advocates for Children’s Services and Raleigh attorney Mark Trustin filed the complaint with the state Department of Public Instruction Thursday alleging violations of federal and state law by Wake schools against students who are disabled and serving long-term suspensions from the classroom.

The complaint alleges that those students don't have the individualized educational adaptations guaranteed to them by law while they are outside the normal classroom, in alternative schools or in tutoring programs.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is already investigating a complaint against the school system about the treatment of Spanish-speaking parents of Latino students.

That complaint names three Latino students who were informed in English that they were being given long-term suspensions. Letters in English were sent home to their parents, who couldn't read them, the groups claim.

The Office of Civil Rights is also looking into whether the district's controversial student assignment policy is unfair to low-income students.

In June, the district settled a Title IX complaint stemming from athletic opportunities for female students.


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  • ewcheercoach Jul 20, 2012

    The Furry Godmother- Physical disabilities don't mean a kid is unable to learn. I had a severely physically handicapped student this year who was one of the smartest students I've ever had. A physical disabilty does not mean you will not be successful in a regular classroom setting.

    And students with disabilities does not necessarily mean physical disabilities. Many people are fine physically but have a learning disability and are still able to be succesful in a regular classroom.

    Thought like that are why we NEED federal laws, so smart students who happen to have a disability aren't pushed to the side and forgotten about.

    I agree with you about discpline problems though. If your behavior is impeding a classroom of children from learning, you should be removed and put in a seperate class.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 19, 2012

    "The complaint alleges that those students don't have the individualized educational adaptations guaranteed to them by law while they are outside the normal classroom, in alternative schools or in tutoring programs."


    Disabilities doesn't necessarily mean those with discipline problems. Those with physical disabilities should be in different classes from those with discipline problems altogether which would afford those with physical disabilities a better environment in which to try to learn.

  • storchheim Jul 19, 2012

    Please let the special interest groups go away. So sick of hearing a handful cause trouble for the majority. Parents, deal with it. Just - - deal.

  • Nancy Jul 19, 2012

    So we mainstream kids with disabilities and they don't have to follow discipline guidelines and can't be suspended? And what happens to the students who are there to learn?

  • BBQNC1 Jul 19, 2012

    Schools bend over backwards to work and be fair with all kids the best they can. There should be a lawsuit representing the middle of the road kids that get neglected because the teacher needs to spend the majority of their time tending to the needs of those who do not speak english, who have learning disabilities, have physical & mental disabilities and behavioral problems - and this is all in ONE class.

  • ewcheercoach Jul 19, 2012

    whatelseisnew- Usually I agree with what you say. But the law doesn't say to provide each child with the exact same opportunity. The federal law says that each child is to be provided with a free and appropriate (to their individual needs)education. That is why children with special needs go to the same schools and get accomodations- because that is what is appropriate to their needs so they can be successful in the free public school system.

  • ewcheercoach Jul 19, 2012

    momeeee- Basically, if a child's Indiviualized Education Plan says that they see a special education teacher a certain amount of time a day (or week) for individual help, that time is not being met when they are suspended. It doesn't say what their disabilities are because it isn't naming anyone specific, but it is addressing whatever the discipline policy is. In most schools, you cannot suspend a child with disabilities for more than 10 days (cumulatively) a year because then their IEP isn't being met. You have to put them in a different setting and insure that the special ed teacher continues to work with them during their punishment time.

    And if the rest of you will read the article, you will notice that it doesn't label the Spanish-speaking students as having disabilities. It just says that they are already investigating a complaint that is related to that. So in total, they are looking at 3 compaints:students with disabilities, Spanish-speaking students and assignment policy.

  • missdawg Jul 19, 2012

    I do not consider non-English speaking children to be disabled. If I go to Germany but don't speak German, can I sue them because I don't understand the language? No. I am fed up with my taxpayer dollars supporting people who aren't even supposed to be in this country in the first place, and comparing the inability to learn our language to people who have autism or other true disabilities is sickening.

  • momeeee Jul 19, 2012

    twa tts1000 - I understand there are two separate issues. My 1st post addresses the 1st 2 paragraphs that refer to "those students with disabilities" and wanting to know how their needs are not being addressed. Pretty vague to me. What are their disabilities & how are their needs not being met. I do not see the need to berate anyone for asking a question for more clarity!

  • Student Nurse Jul 19, 2012

    "I disagree. That is the obligation of the parent, not the taxpayer. Every student should be afforded the same educational opportunity. If you have a child that requires more than that, then it needs to be on your dollars. Discrimination is discrimination and providing stuff for one group vs another should not be part of the law."

    I disagree. This is elitist thinking. Every child should be guaranteed an education at their own level. If you decide to cut out the special needs children then you must also cut out the gifted and talented children. By your ideals, only the average middle-of-the-road child deserves an education by the taxpayers.