NEW ORLEANS, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Don't DismyAbilities, Inc. announces that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a case regarding the "Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track". The case epitomizes typical adolescent behavior, albeit from a student with a disability who was criminalized and expelled by school administrators. The trial will take place on June 6, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the two-week period leading up to the 13 year-old boy's 2013 expulsion, he received five disciplinary referrals:
- He asked a student "If she was making porn?" School administrators encouraged her parents to file a felony charge of sexual harassment. The parents refused.
- He told a student "his XX was so small you couldn't see it." School administrators encouraged his parents to file a felony charge of sexual harassment. The parents refused.
- He gave a student a "wet willie". School administrators informed his mother the other parents might press sexual assault charges for "exchange of bodily fluids".
- He bumped into a teacher accidentally. The teacher filed two misdemeanors against him even though she purposely forced the contact.
- He was invited by his friend to take pictures in a school bathroom using the toilet. School administrators encouraged the parents of the student who was photographed to press felony charges. Even though the pictures were not explicit the parents did.
Administrators seized the opportunity to initiate the student's expulsion. The student was subsequently removed from school and placed in a 60-day Disciplinary Alternative Education Placement (DAEP). The Tarrant County Juvenile Justice Authority (TCJJA) investigated and found all accusations to be "without merit". They dismissed the felony and the two misdemeanor charges against the student.
Despite the TCJJA's decision to dismiss all charges, the school refused to review the student's placement. His rights were violated when the school district maintained that he had committed a felony and that expulsion was still warranted, even though the TCJJA determined no felony had occurred. The boy's case is now before the Fifth Circuit as both State and Federal law support that his disciplinary placement should have been reviewed and changed.
A copy of the student's Fifth Circuit Brief is located here. The student's attorneys at Cirkiel & Associates, P.C. provide legal representation to children and adults with physical, mental or cognitive disabilities.
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SOURCE Don't DismyAbilities, Inc.