(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The parents of a 16-year-old student with disabilities are taking legal action against Colorado Springs School District 49, alleging the district has failed to provide their son with the education he needs to succeed in school.
Corbin Andrew, a student at Falcon High School, aspires to become an engineer. However, his journey through the educational system has been challenging due to his autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit disorder, primarily affecting his literacy and math skills.
Special education programs, such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), are designed to provide specialized services to students like Corbin, addressing their unique learning needs. However, according to the complaint filed by Corbin’s parents, District 49 failed to meet these requirements, which they say is leaving their son struggling academically.
“The District also failed to provide Plaintiff the special education services he required,” the complaint stated.
Igor Raykin, the civil rights attorney representing Corbin Andrew’s parents, emphasized, “Special education services are essential because students with disabilities learn differently than their general education peers.” Raykin alleges that instead of providing the necessary support, the school’s approach was to “wait for him to fail.”
The complaint asserts that Corbin is falling behind in mathematics, as evidenced by comments on his homework from his teachers, such as “What are you doing here?” He now spends extra hours each week with a private tutor, attempting to bridge the educational gap.
Raykin expressed concerns about the long-term consequences of Corbin’s educational struggles, stating, “If he needs so much remediation that he’s simply not going to be able to study engineering because of the gap in the math skills, well, basically, we’ve just affected this entire kid’s life.”
This legal action is not an isolated incident. According to Raykin, this is a recurring pattern of inadequate support for special needs students. “This district, quite simply, has an issue with the way it educates special needs kids,” he added.
This isn’t the first time this has been presented. According to David Nancarrow, a spokesperson for District 49, this complaint filed on September 21, is an appeal by the family and their lawyers to the case that a judge has already dismissed.
“The judge dismissed the case because the family refused to engage in good-faith attempts to come to a resolution. Having already lost in the courts, the lawyers are trying to resurrect the case in the media. We trust the wisdom of the court, and await the results of the appeal,” Nancarrow said in a statement.
Raykin emphasized that this case is not about vilifying individuals within the school district. Instead, it highlights the need for a greater commitment to serving special needs students.
“There’s got to be a commitment on their part to actually serve the special needs kids,” Raykin stated, suggesting that change may only occur if voters demand a stronger commitment from the school district.