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NJ Disabled Student Excluded From Graduation

The Secaucus Board of Education has agreed to pay a disabled student $30,000 to resolve allegations it deliberately caused her to miss out on her middle school graduation ceremony in 2012 by failing to notify her mother of the opportunity.The girl has been diagnosed with a severe disability caused by a chromosome abnormality, and is characterized by significant intellectual disability and delayed development.

“This settlement represents a fair and just resolution to an unfortunate situation,” said Acting State Attorney General John Hoffman. “This case wasn’t simply about allegations of disparate treatment. It was about a young, disabled student having the same chance as her non-disabled schoolmates to take part in an especially well-deserved youthful rite of passage.”

As part of the settlement agreement, the school district will do more than fork over $30,000. It has also agreed to provide proper notification in the future whether through a mailed letter or e-mail to all students with disabilities regarding graduation ceremonies and other special events, and to notify the students’ case managers as well.

The school district will also conduct staff-wide training in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. They will emphasize on how the law relates to student participation in events and activities.


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