Q: My grandson is a special needs child. His Civil Rights are being violated by the school he attends.
He is being bullied and the kids who are bullying him are blaming him and he is getting suspended and in trouble all the time. For instance someone threw a pen cap in the vicinity of the teacher and 2 kids said he threw it (his pens do not even have caps) so he got suspended for 3 days. This has been an ongoing ordeal. They are also violating his civil rights by denying him an IEP and not following his 504 Plan. My daughter needs a pro bono lawyer as she is a single mom and can't afford one.
A: You do not necessarily need a pro bono lawyer. What you should do is reach out to an attorney in your area for a private consultation. Many attorneys give free consultations. Moreover, many attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they are only paid a portion of any award or settlement that is obtained, and do not charge up front. A local attorney will be able to evaluate your specific situation and advise you whether you have an actionable case.
A: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require schools to locate and identify students with disabilities. This is called Child Find. Your daughter should seek professional guidance as to which plan your grandson might qualify for and how to purse that with the school district. Students with disabilities have heightened protections against bullying that has been explained in guidance provided by the Office for Civil Rights.
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