Parents of an autistic child filed a lawsuit against San Diego Unified School District alleging administrators failed to follow a specialized education plan for their 12-year-old son.
According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court on July 29, the mother and her son recently relocated to San Diego from a school district in Del Mar. Upon the boy's enrollment the mother gave district staff her son's education plan, which outlined the boy's learning and emotional needs. The boy was found to have "significant delays in receptive and expressive language," according to a 2012 document. In addition, the boy struggled socially and often exhibited self-stimulating behaviors such as "rocking back and forth, pacing, jumping up and down, and/or, making high pitched sounds."
In an effort to help the student cope, school administrators required four hours of specialized instruction per day, 30 minutes of speech and occupational therapy each school week.
The boy's mother, however, claims San Diego Unified School District refused to follow the previous nonpublic-school's education plan and instead placed the boy in a large middle school. At the same time, district staff allegedly ignored requirements to draft a new learning plan.
"The district refused to implement [student's] previously agreed upon and implemented [education plan] for 30 days as required by law, and instead offered [student] placement at a large, comprehensive middle school site, which the district erroneously labeled as 'comparable' to a nonpublic school placement."
In June of this year, an administrative judge denied the mother's request to force the district to follow the previous plan, prompting the mother to file the lawsuit.
The lawsuit will now move forward in federal court.