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Cheick’s Story

Cheick, an immigrant student from Mali, was told—illegally—that he had to leave high school and transfer to a high school equivalency program.

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Class Actions

Class Actions

Z.Q. v. Department of Education

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Department of Education failed to provide an appropriate education during the time of remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for students with disabilities, denying them the free and appropriate public education to which they are entitled, and asks that the DOE create an expedited and efficient process to provide make-up services for the instruction and services students with disabilities have lost during the period of remote learning.

E.B. v. Department of Education

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Department regularly suspends, discharges, transfers and otherwise excludes student 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.

L.V. v. NYC Department of Education

In the LV case, parents of children with disabilities filed suit claiming, among other things, that they had received favorable orders and settlements in impartial hearings that were not being timely enforced.

D.S. v. NYC Department of Education

In 2005, AFC and Morrison & Foerster LLP filed a class action suit on behalf of a class of students who were illegally excluded from Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. The three-year-long class action lawsuit claimed that the school not only denied them a proper education but actually fostered an environment that encouraged students to fail or drop out.

J.G. v. Mills

The plaintiffs in this action claimed that upon being released from a court-ordered setting, they had been denied timely re-enrollment in New York City schools. The students claimed that court-involved youth were regularly denied the opportunity to return to school or were warehoused in alternative settings where court-involved youth are segregated that do not afford them minimally adequate educational services. The complaint also contained allegations on behalf of two subclasses: court-involved youth with disabilities and class members who did not receive adequate educational services while in detention in New York City.

Jose P. v. Mills

Jose P. was filed by a group of New York City school children with disabilities over three decades ago to force the Department of Education to obey federal laws that require appropriate evaluation, placement and services be provided to all students with disabilities. In 1979 a judgment was issued directing a variety of relief measures. Numerous subsequent orders and so-ordered stipulations have been issued since 1979.

The Trilogy of Push-Out Cases: Ruiz v. Pedota, RV v. Department of Education, and SG v. Department of Education

In January 2003, AFC filed a lawsuit against Franklin K. Lane High School for its illegal practices in discharging students. In the fall of 2003, AFC filed similar lawsuits against two additional individual high schools. In the summer of 2004, Department of Education officials admitted that there was a long-standing citywide problem with schools pushing students out. All three of these cases were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York before Judge Jack B. Weinstein.

Ray M. v. NYC Board of Education and NYS Department of Education, et al.

The Ray M. suit was brought in 1994 by New York City parents of preschool children with disabilities, and alleged that these children were denied their rights to appropriate educational services under state and federal law. The case succeeded in creating new inclusive educational environments for preschool students with disabilities, who had previously been warehoused in segregated settings.

Boe v. NYC Board of Education, et al.

Boe was brought against the NYC Board of Education in 1980 on behalf of suspended high school students who challenged the NYC suspension policies and procedures.