Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Being Sued by Parent

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Being Sued by Parent

Article excerpt

A parent is suing North Allegheny School District, charging that the district is discriminating against her child due to his mental and physical disabilities.

In the complaint filed Feb. 18 in U.S. District Court, the mother, identified as K.K., contends the district is discriminating against her son, identified as S.K., by not providing transportation between his school and day care, something she says is available to children in the district who do not have disabilities.

The district's policy is not to provide transportation to and from day care centers that are outside of the district, but the mother contends that no day care in the district will accept her son because of his disability.

S.K. is described in the complaint as a "medically fragile" 7- year-old diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by slow growth, vision and hearing loss, and developmental delays. S.K. is blind and deaf and requires help eating and using the bathroom.

As part of the Individualized Education Program, or IEP, for S.K., educators in the district and his mother determined S.K. would be best served at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children on North Bellefield Avenue in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.

Pennsylvania education laws state that transportation must be provided as required by a child's IEP, and North Allegheny transports S.K. to and from his home and the Oakland school.

When her child was 3 years old, K.K., a single mother, looked for day care options that would meet her child's medical needs so she could return to work.

She said she contacted every day care in North Allegheny School District, but none would accept her son because none had adequate resources to care for him.

K.K. contends that the only day care in the area equipped and willing to care for her son is Child's Way, a special needs day care on Penn Avenue in the city's Friendship neighborhood. …

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