Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The connection between school violence and the special ed lawsuits won by Daniel Shinoff et al

As I sat listening to Superintendent Terry Ryan (Grossmont Union High School District) say that he wanted to hire lawyers who wouldn't cost much and would win cases, I shook my head. Mr. Ryan doesn't want to be advised as to the appropriate legal actions he should take. Ryan wants his main lawyer to be Daniel Shinoff, who offers districts the service of helping them get away with breaking the law. Shame on you, Mr. Ryan, for wanting that kind of lawyer.

Susan Ohanian recently published an article that talks about the efforts of school districts to save money on special education students by mainstreaming them instead of sending them to special schools.

The article brought back the memory of Mr. Ryan saying that special education lawsuits were a big part of the district's legal budget.

Gary Mayerson, a New York attorney whose firm has litigated cases on behalf of special-education students in 30 states, says:

"There is nobody more pro-inclusion than myself, but many school districts are using it as a pretext to avoid having to pay for appropriate special education."

Here's a quote from the article:
"On the morning of Sept. 29, 2006, Eric, then 15 years old, walked into Weston Public with two guns and shot dead the school's principal, John Klang, police reports indicate. He told investigators he was tired of taunting by other students and aimed to "confront" Mr. Klang, teachers and students. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

""Could anybody anticipate this?" asks Eric's attorney, Rhoda Ricciardi. "I think everybody could have." "

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