Students who have certain types of learning needs may be eligible for services through the special education programs available in California schools. These students may have behavioral challenges that may make it difficult to function in the educational setting, and unfortunately, this could lead to unfair treatment from teachers and administrators. Recently, there have been allegations that special education students are unfairly disciplined compared to other special education students.
Troubling patterns and mistreatment
In one California school, parents have expressed concerns that their Black special education students are receiving more suspensions than other students in the school. This leads to days away from school, and over time, this negatively impacts the quality of a student’s education. The California Department of Education noted this pattern at the conclusion of its yearly audit.
At the conclusion of the audit, the CDE determined there to be a significant discrepancy in how Black special education students were treated compared to their peers. They concluded that these students were three times more likely to be suspended from school for 10 or more days. Over 100 school districts in the state were found to have similar statistics.
Fighting for fair treatment
California parents are important advocates for their children in special education programs. If there is evidence of a problem or unfair treatment, parents may advocate for their child and seek to hold the responsible parties accountable. It may be helpful to discuss all concerns with an experienced special education attorney to learn about available legal options.