Suit  against  Denver  Public  Schools  declares  instructors  strike  will  damage  special-needs  students

Suit against Denver Public Schools declares instructors strike will damage special-needs students

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 8, 2019

Attorneys submitted a federal suit versus Denver Public Schools on behalf of more than 10,000 disabled students who the fit declares most likely will be damaged more than other students by the instructors strike that started Monday.

The civil lawsuit was submitted in U.S. District Court in Denver on Monday on behalf of a kid recognized only as E.A. by Aurora attorneys Igor Raykin and Tyler Jeffery. The lawyers are seeking class-action certification for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks a court order versus DPS making sure that the district provide needed special education services to all handicapped trainees.

DPS spokesman Will Jones said trainees with disabilities were “well supported” in their schools on Monday, dismissing the claim as “appear(ing) to be based on speculation that students will be rejected services as a result of the strike.”

As soon as the strike became a possibility, Jones stated, DPS officials began recruiting substitutes with special-eduation know-how and developed prepares to work with those students.

“We are committed to keeping our trainees safe and supported,” he stated. “We will continue to monitor our allocation of personnel supports in an effort to meet the special requires of all trainees for the duration of the strike.”

[RELATED: Denver instructors strike starts with more than 2,500 teachers walking out, and negotiations set to resume Tuesday]

The lawsuit declares that “the strike will cause serious emotional and mental trauma for unique education trainees, especially the big number of DPS trainees who suffer from autism. Students with autism usually do not handle modifications in routine.”

Many of the trainees with extreme intellectual specials needs need specialized support for their health and security, the suit states. They need assistance from special education instructors, therapists, social employees, school psychologists and therapists.

Some of the kids have unique medical needs such as feeding tubes or breathing apparatuses that must be provided by nurses or other specific caretakers, according to the lawsuit.

“They might get injure, hurt themselves and/or hurt others,” the lawsuit states.

Because of the strike, DPS most likely will replace important staff members with replacement teachers with insufficient training, the suit says. Substitute instructors will not be capable of dealing with the federally needed needs of unique education students based on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), the claim states.

If DPS is forced to merge classes or relocate trainees because of the strike it will have a serious negative effect on blind trainees, the lawsuit states. “That perhaps could force these students to be confined to a class, damaging their social-emotional development.”

“It is just difficult for the district to implement thousands of IEPs for handicapped kids without having properly trained staff throughout the strike in order to do so,” the suit states.

The claim asks the federal court to right away notify parents of handicapped children how the district means to meet the special education requires of their kids throughout the strike.