Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity operated by recipients of federal funds, including schools. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) extends this prohibition against discrimination to the full range of state and local government services, programs, and activities regardless of whether they receive any federal financial assistance. Under these two laws, elementary, middle and high school students are entitled to access their education as adequately as their non disabled peers.
New Jersey’s State Anti-Discrimination Law
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) provides individuals with some of the strongest legal protections against discrimination of any state law in the country. The LAD applies in all places of public accommodation, including schools. Specifically, the law provides that every individual must have the opportunity to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation without discrimination based upon his or her race, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, or sex.
The attorneys at Manes & Weinberg, LLC have successfully handled many student discrimination cases. Some examples include school districts refusing to: include grades earned at a therapeutic school into a student’s cumulative GPA, provide accommodations to enable a student to make-up work following bouts of anxiety, provide appropriately trained staff to meet a student’s unique needs, cease seclusion and restraints, and developing and implementing training programs to prevent racial and gender discrimination.