The Fight for Students with Disabilities Continues

Judge Denies Fairfax County Public Schools' Request to Dismiss an ADA Lawsuit

A federal judge denied Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) motion for interlocutory appeal, which was its second attempt to stop an ADA violation lawsuit against the school board. 

FH+H Partner Kevin Byrnes and Regina Kline of Brown, Goldstein & Levy represent the plaintiffs — a group of six student minors with disabilities, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and Communication FIRST.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs allege that FCPS disproportionally used physical restraint and segregation toward students with disabilities. Students with processing, verbal, and other impairments can be placed in cell-like isolation rooms in response to disability-related actions. FCPS’s improper use of physical restraint and segregation punishment has caused these students to experience discrimination, psychological trauma, and physical harm. 

In a report to the federal government, FCPS claimed it had not used restraint or seclusion tactics from 2013 to 2017; however, one plaintiff — a 13-year-old, non-verbal student with autism — was restrained and secluded more than 700 documented times by the school’s staff during that period. The students experiencing such punishments were as young as five years old.

FH+H handles a wide variety of litigation cases, representing clients from individuals to large-scale business entities and more. A team of experienced attorneys provides our clients the help they need throughout all stages of civil and complex litigation.

Note: Case results depend on a variety of unique factors and do not guarantee or predict similar results for future cases.

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