Judge: Hamilton County schools violated federal disability laws
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that a Tennessee county’s department of education violated multiple federal guidelines protecting students with disabilities when it removed a student with Down syndrome from an elementary school.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Judge Curtis Collier ruled Monday that the Hamilton County Department of Education violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The case centered on the removal of Luka Hyde from Normal Park Elementary School in 2013. Hyde, then a second-grader, was placed in a comprehensive development classroom at Red Bank Elementary.
Federal law requires schools to educate students with disabilities alongside those without to the maximum extent appropriate. State data shows 80 percent of Hamilton County Schools students with intellectual disabilities are separated in comprehensive development classrooms.