Investigate disparate discipline rates for special-education students

A new lawsuit rightly shines a spotlight on the problem of high suspension and expulsion rates for special-education students in Washington state.

EVERY child in Washington is entitled to a public-school education, no matter his or her abilities.

Special-education students are no exception, even if they are disruptive, thanks to Washington’s education and anti-discrimination laws.

However, a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washingtonin Thurston County Superior Court rightly challenges the way these laws are being enforced in Yakima and Pasco and, more worrisome, implies the issues could be widespread.

The lawsuit filed against the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction tells disturbing stories about five children who were disciplined so much they missed a significant amount of class time.


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