In Stefan Jaynes v. Newport News Public School District, Stefan Jaynes’ parents instituted legal proceedings against Newport News Pubic Schools District for failure to provide the child with specialized education, having been diagnosed with autism soon after he turned two years. His parents’ quest for early intervention services failed initially but eventually enrolled him in a school that developed an IEP without their involvement. The school did not live up to the promise they made because Stefan began regressing. His parents withdrew him from the school, hired tutors to teach him at home, and eventually sued the School district. On 11 June 1999, the court ruled in favor of the parents on behalf of Stefan and awarded them damages for expenses incurred on Stefan’s home-based schooling (Smith, 1999). The school district appealed the ruling, but the court upheld the previous decision.
The decision the court made was justified given the incompetence and intransigence the school demonstrated towards Stefan’s education. From the outset, it was evident the school was incapable or unwilling to provide Stefan with the specialized training Stefan deserved. He had been diagnosed with autism, and so it was imprudent for the school to enroll him in a regular class, where he was the only one with the ailment. According to Rothstein (2018), institutions are obliged to facilitate and coordinate disability services and ensure that staff members and the other administrators are aware of the tools they need to guarantee learners with disabilities the unqualified access to education. Stefan’s case underscores the need for parents whose children have some limitations to ensure such children receive the education they deserve. Parents should institute proceedings against schools and school districts on the grounds of discrimination based on disability if their children do not receive the services they deserve.
Rothstein, L. (2018). A Primer on Disability Discrimination in Higher Education. Laws, 7(25), 1-33
Smith, R. E. (1999). Statement of Appeals Proceedings. Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia