Lawsuit Challenges Segregation During Recess

 colorful playground equipment

by Andy Jones
April 24, 2017

Indiana Disability Rights filed a complaint with the state’s education agency on April 3, accusing it of segregating children with disabilities by not allowing them to participate in recess.

At Crestdale Elementary School, children with disabilities are not allowed to play on the playground.

The policy is purportedly based on the concern that the children will escape the school’s premises, but Indiana Disability Rights, which filed the complaint on behalf of an eight-year-old boy, contends that these concerns would be easily remedied by enclosing the playground with a fence.

The advocacy group filed the lawsuit after the school denied multiple requests to install a proposed fence.

“This case is about segregation. The student’s grandmother has been trying for years to convince Crestdale Elementary to allow her grandson to safely use the same outdoor playground that children without disabilities use,” said Keith Butler, staff attorney at Indiana Disability Rights, in a news release. “Instead, the student and his classmates are not allowed to go outside and are forced to have recess indoors.”

The complaint demands that the boy’s Individualized Education Plan be rewritten so that he can use the playground, as well as that the school build the fence.

The complaint, which is not publically available, raises violations under both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Watch the new story video about the lawsuit, from Fox 59.

Indiana Disability Rights and Disability Rights Washington are the designated protection and advocacy agencies in Oregon and Washington, respectively, and are members of the National Disability Rights Network.