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The Supreme Court rules in favor of a deaf student in an education case

By 03/21/2023 2:07 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Tuesday’s majority decision by the Supreme Court sided with a deaf kid who had sued his public school system for failing to provide quality education. The point is relevant for other impaired youngsters who claim school administrators failed them.

Miguel Luna Perez, a student at a Sturgis, Michigan, public school, was the subject of the case that the court decided. According to Perez’s attorneys, the education system neglected the youngster for 12 years and misled his parents about his progress, impairing the boy’s communication capacity.

The judges decided that Perez and his family could seek monetary damages under a different federal law after officials agreed to pay for additional education and sign language lessons to settle their complaint against the school system.

The case “has repercussions not just for Mr. Perez but for many children with disabilities and their parents,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said in an eight-page opinion for the court.

Perez, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 9, still finds it challenging to communicate. According to Perez’s attorneys, the educational system failed him by assigning him a teacher’s assistant who was unqualified to work with deaf pupils, did not understand sign language, and eventually abandoned him for long periods.

According to Perez’s attorneys, after more than a decade, he had no official sign language training and instead used devised signs that only those familiar with his distinctive signing could decipher.

In the meantime, the school gave him exaggerated grades, and his parents thought he was on pace to graduate from high school.

Nevertheless, his family was informed just before graduation that he could only receive a “certificate of completion.”

The broad Americans with Disabilities Act, which forbids discrimination against those with disabilities, and the Persons with Disabilities Education Act were also used by his family in response.

The latter ensures that special needs-specific, free public education is provided to all children with disabilities.

The IDEA issues were finally resolved by Perez’s family and the school district. Perez graduated from the Michigan School for the Deaf in 2020 after the community agreed to pay for additional education and sign language classes for him and his family.

Following the agreement, the family filed a lawsuit in federal court under the ADA, seeking monetary damages not permitted under the IDEA.

Due to language in the IDEA, lower courts claimed Perez was prevented from pursuing his ADA claims; however, the Supreme Court dissented. Nothing in the IDEA “blocks his approach,” Gorsuch stated in his essay.

Also, the Biden administration had pleaded with the court to support Perez. Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, 21-887, is the matter.


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