Class Action News

After Hours – OANN COVID Special Needs with Patrick Donohue

COVID-19 and the affect on special education students

When it comes to special education, nearly 7 million American children with disabilities are trying to balance school in the pandemic. However, experts say the consequences are devastating. News 12’s Tara Rosenblum investigates this, as well as a lawsuit that raising questions if the civil rights of these children are being violated..

About a month in, how are schools doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

News 12 Staff Sep 30, 2020, 7:00pm EDT Updated on: Sep 30, 2020, 7:00pm EDT

How the Pandemic Has Affected Students With Special Needs

Lawsuit Alleges Schools Abandoned Special Needs Students

By Cheryl Wills and Rebecca Greenberg | NYC Spectrum News 1
July 28, 2020 | 7:17 PM ET 

Full Video and Article Here

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As school districts scrambled to get distance learning up and running this spring amid the pandemic, a recently filed lawsuit says they forgot about students with special needs.

Last Friday, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Manhattan by 200 hundred families in 10 states.

It says remote learning models were inadequate at best for students with special needs, especially students who require one on one assistance.

The lawsuit includes New York State.

It claims students entitled to federally protected programs have been abandoned and their parents have suffered as well. In some cases, parents left their jobs to care for their children.

As schools prepare to reopen, the lawsuit demands a resumption of full-time-in-person special education for children, fresh evaluations for children who have badly regressed, compensation for the parental expense incurred during remote learning and money for additional staff.

Executive Director of the Autism Council of Rochester and Chairman of the Monroe County Office of Mental Health Community Services Lawana Jones applauds parents for advocating for their children, but she says this is a complex issue.

“But I don’t think the states can handle that alone, I know districts can’t handle that alone,” Jones said. “So, I would expect our local lawmakers to work with the federal government, whether it’s financial assistance [or] professional development, we’re going to need federal aid in doing this.”

Jones says the conversations about services for children with special needs are just starting. She says parents should advocate for their children, but also work in partnership with their school districts to make sure children have services

Father of Developmentally-Challenged Student Files Lawsuit to Reopen Schools

By Adam Kuperstein | July 29, 2020 9:26 PM | NBC News

Full Video Here

He says keeping schools closed for special needs kids is “borderline negl

200 families file federal lawsuit on behalf of students with special needs

By Lynette Adams
July 20, 2020 | 05:11 AM | WHEC-TV

Full Video and Article Here

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As school districts scrambled to get distance learning up and running this spring amid the pandemic, a recently filed lawsuit says they forgot about students with special needs.

Last Friday, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Manhattan by 200 hundred families in 10 states.

It says remote learning models were inadequate at best for students with special needs, especially students who require one on one assistance.

The lawsuit includes New York State.

It claims students entitled to federally protected programs have been abandoned and their parents have suffered as well. In some cases, parents left their jobs to care for their children.

As schools prepare to reopen, the lawsuit demands a resumption of full-time-in-person special education for children, fresh evaluations for children who have badly regressed, compensation for the parental expense incurred during remote learning and money for additional staff.

Executive Director of the Autism Council of Rochester and Chairman of the Monroe County Office of Mental Health Community Services Lawana Jones applauds parents for advocating for their children, but she says this is a complex issue.

“But I don’t think the states can handle that alone, I know districts can’t handle that alone,” Jones said. “So, I would expect our local lawmakers to work with the federal government, whether it’s financial assistance [or] professional development, we’re going to need federal aid in doing this.”

Jones says the conversations about services for children with special needs are just starting. She says parents should advocate for their children, but also work in partnership with their school districts to make sure children have services.

Lawsuit rips schools for abandoning special needs kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Selim Algar

July 16, 2020 | 4:57pm | Updated | NY Times

Full Article Here

School districts across the country have abandoned special education kids amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a class action Manhattan federal lawsuit slated to be filed Friday.

The case argues that districts ignored federal law by failing to provide legally mandated services to kids who suffer from mental and physical deficits after the closure of schools in March.

“These school districts violated the rights of 6.7 million students across the country by altering their educational programs,” said parent and activist Patrick Donohue. “They put the burden on parents to do the job of these school districts.”

The case names Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and districts across the country as defendants.

Backers of the suit will release radio ads in New York to draw attention to the ongoing plight of special education parents.

Two hundred families in 10 states have signed on as plaintiffs so far, arguing that remote learning models have been inadequate for special education kids who often require one on one assistance.

“These programs are federally protected,” Donohue said.

The case is demanding the resumption of full-time in person special education for impacted kids, fresh evaluations for badly regressed children, compensation for parental expenses incurred during remote learning and funding for additional staff.

If programs don’t fully resume, the case is pushing for districts to give parents a “blank check” to provide adequate independent services for their children.

“The districts have totally abandoned these families,” said Donohue, who has a disabled teen daughter and has frequently warred with the DOE over her education.

He noted that the city furnished learning centers for the children of emergency workers during the prior school year but made no similar accommodation for special education students