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The Supreme Court upholds a deaf Latino student who sued his school for not giving him the education he needed


The magistrates ruled unanimously that Miguel Luna Pérez, who was born in Mexico, can claim financial compensation from his school district in Michigan.

By Jessica Gresko -

The Associated Press

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Tuesday in favor of a deaf Latino student who sued his public school system for failing to provide him with an adequate education.

The case on which the judges ruled affects Miguel Luna Pérez, who attended a public school in Sturgis, Michigan.

His lawyers told the court that for 12 years the school system neglected him and lied to his parents about his progress, which permanently affected his ability to communicate.

The judges ruled that after Pérez and his family settled a lawsuit against the school system, which agreed to pay for extra tuition and sign language learning, they can now seek damages from him under federal law. different.

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Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the eight-page ruling that the case "has consequences not only for Perez, but for a large number of children with disabilities and their parents."

Pérez, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 9, continues to struggle to make himself understood.

His lawyers say the school system failed him by providing him with an assistant who was not trained to work with deaf students, did not know sign language, and left him alone for hours.

After more than a decade, Pérez knew no formal sign language and communicated using made-up signs that were not understood by anyone unfamiliar with his unique way of communicating, his lawyers alleged.

Meanwhile, the school was giving her inflated grades and her parents believed she was on her way to earning her high school diploma.

However, just before graduation, she was told that he could only get a "certificate of completion."

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His family filed lawsuits under two laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities;

and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees children with disabilities a free public education tailored to their specific needs.

Ultimately, Perez's family and the school district settled the IDEA claims.

The district agreed to pay for, among other things, extra schooling and sign language instruction for Perez and her family, who graduated from the Michigan School for the Deaf in 2020.

Following the settlement, the family went to federal court and, under the ADA, sought damages, which the IDEA does not provide.

The courts ruled that Pérez could not bring these claims due to the other law, but the Supreme Court disagreed: "We clarify that nothing" in the IDEA "stands in his way."

The Joe Biden government had asked the court to support Pérez.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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