Challenging Connecticut Judge’s ignorant statements about “disabled” children
In an extremely powerful Hartford Courant commentary piece, Andrew Feinstein, a special education expert and advocate, addresses the “dark poison” contained in Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s recent ruling in the CCJEF v. Rell case. (See Wait, What? post entitled,Inside school funding “victory,” CT Judge apparently seeks to set special education services back 40 years).
Attorney Feinstein writes;
“…Judge Moukawsher proposed that certain children with severe disabilities be denied a public education. He says, “The call is not about whether certain profoundly disabled children are entitled to a ‘free appropriate public education.’ It is about whether schools can decide in an education plan for a covered child that the child has a minimal or no chance for education, and therefore the school should not make expensive, extensive, and ultimately pro-forma efforts.” He claims, inaccurately, that “no case holds otherwise, and this means that extensive services are not always required.”This triage proposal is at odds with what the litigants argued in the case and diametrically opposed to federal civil rights law. The judge proposes discriminating against the severely disabled. Yet, discrimination based on the severity of disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Judge Ellen Bree Burns addressed this issue head-on in Messier v. Southbury Training School. Federal ADA regulations provide that a public entity, such as a school board, may not provide different benefits or services to individuals with disabilities or to any class of individuals with disabilities than is provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with benefits or services that are as effective as those provided to others.Judge Burns wrote that courts have repeatedly held that the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination based on the severity of disability. Specifically, she held that Challenging Connecticut Judge’s ignorant statements about “disabled” children - Wait What?: