Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

Are Children with PTSD Being Neglected by Their Schools?

2014-2015 Equity + Opportunity Studies Fellow, Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity 

ABSTRACT: This paper hopes to clarify the rights of students suffering from traumas, while pointing out the failures of districts and proposing possible solutions to the problems. This paper first examines what kind of special education accommodations students suffering from Traumas are entitled to. By examining the Individuals with Disability Act, New Jersey’s special education laws and section 504 of the American’s with Disabilities Act, and case law I am able to clarify what districts are required to do for students who suffer from traumas. After laying out what is required of the districts, I look into how districts fail in classifying and accommodating students with traumas, mainly those students who are minorities or from poor socioeconomic classes. This is done by looking at New Jersey special education cases and 504 cases that generally allow districts to get away with not properly accommodating or classifying students suffering from traumas. After looking to case law to see where courts may be failing in enforcing special education rights, I look to law journal articles. These articles further point out the common failures of districts and provide proposed solutions to these problems. Finally this paper looks to Harvard Law’s research on students with traumas and how they have worked to improve those student’s rights. 

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