The ACLU of Michigan has sued Flint Community Schools, the Genesee Intermediate School District and the Michigan Department of Education over what it claims is inadequate service for students in the wake of the Flint water crisis.
After 30,000 children were exposed to lead in Flint, the ACLU of Michigan says schools have violated the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by not providing adequate screenings and referrals for children with learning disabilities. Lead exposure can lead to such disabilities, as well as developmental delays and behavioral problems, CNN reports. The lawsuit notes 11 families with children who suffer from learning disabilities but were not evaluated for special education. It also claims such children often face suspension or expulsion instead of treatment.
The governor’s office, Genesee Intermediate School District and Flint Community Schools all said they do not comment on pending litigation, although both school districts’ superintendents said they were committed to helping “students and families.” The governor’s office pointed out that increased funding had allowed the districts to hire more school nurses and open an early childhood program. The Michigan Department of Education declined to comment.