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  • Class Action
  • E.B. v. Department of Education

    Along with the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, AFC represented in E.B. v. New York City Department of Education a class of all children with disabilities who have been excluded from school without proper notice and due process. The suit alleged, among other things, that the Department regularly suspends, discharges, transfers, and otherwise excludes students with disabilities from its programs without providing them and their parents adequate notice as is legally required and, in so doing, denies them the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Students with disabilities are entitled to additional procedural protections before they can be moved from their classroom. In addition, students with disabilities must receive an education appropriate for their special education needs while suspended.

    In May 2015, the DOE and plaintiffs settled the class action. Among other requirements, as part of the settlement, the DOE agreed to procedures to ensure that schools are not suspending students with disabilities for behavior associated with the student’s disability. In addition, schools now must seek approval before immediately removing students with disabilities in connection with a suspension and ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate instruction while suspended. The DOE also agreed to procedures to prevent schools from discharging from school students with disabilities for disciplinary reasons.

    After a fairness hearing, the Court approved the settlement on July 23, 2015.