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OREGON: Parent sue state over reduced hours for SPED students with behavior issues

Jan 23, 2019, Disability Scoop: School Day Shortened For Hundreds With Disabilities, Suit Claims The parents of children with autism and other developmental disabilities are suing the state of Oregon over claims that the children are being deprived of an education through shortened school days. The plaintiffs, parents of four children, represent hundreds of students in Oregon who are removed from classrooms and schools because of their disability-related behaviors, according to Joel Greenberg, lead attorney for Disability Rights Oregon, one of four advocacy groups that filed the federal class action lawsuit Tuesday. Greenberg said the problem is common across the U.S., particularly in rural or smaller school districts, and that this is believed to be the first lawsuit to focus on shortened class time. “Local school districts continue to violate the law by not providing a free and appropriate education and most importantly, the behavioral supports the students need,” Greenberg said. “The fix requires an understanding of their disabilities, their behavioral triggers and interventions adults should learn.” Some children as young as 5 years old receive just one or two hours of instruction a day from public school districts in Oregon, either in a separate classroom at school or tutoring in their homes, Greenberg said. … At least 50 percent of the children receiving shortened instruction time have autism and most are boys, Greenberg said. Their classroom behaviors have included an inability to sit in chairs for extended periods or refusing to do certain tasks. Others disrupt classes by yelling or making noises. Some of the older children have displayed physical aggression in the classroom. “The answer is not to keep a child out of school but to come up with the proper support and techniques they need,” Greenberg said. The lawsuit describes the cases of several children with autism: … Some of the children are nearly illiterate or unable to complete simple math problems by the seventh or eighth grade. Others are academically talented but unable to make friends or maintain friendships, Greenberg said. … The shortened educational time violates the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prevent exclusion and discrimination of students in schools, according to the lawsuit. …


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