Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Clarissa: Upholding her right to learn
Clarissa’s school removed her from class often without suspension documents, as required by law, to indicate that her behavioral problems were brought on by disabilities. She was sent home so many times that her mother, Ms. Russell, had to quit her job. With help from an ABLE attorney, Ms. Russell secured an Individualized Education Program (IEP), complying with federal law that requires schools to provide accommodations for students with special needs. That allows Clarissa to stay in school and learn.
Clarissa moved with her family during summer to a different school within the district. School officials failed to transfer Clarissa’s records to the new school. Despite Ms. Russell’s request to have them transferred, Clarissa was left without services for seven days. The problem was corrected after an ABLE attorney contacted the school. ABLE contacted the Ohio Department of Education to address the concern about delays in transferring IEPs for Clarissa and other students in the district. The Ohio Department of Education ordered the school district to revise its policies and practices so children will not experience similar educational disruptions. The ABLE attorney worked with school officials to create new policies.
The fact that records don’t quickly follow students who transfer schools – whether students are moved by parents or by the school district – has garnered statewide attention. Continue reading about how ABLE is working with other interested parties to change Ohio law to solve this problem for families.
* This client’s and parent’s names were changed to protect their privacy.