Michigan State, Flint School District Saddled With Lawsuit; ACLU Files On Behalf Of Students In Flint Water Crisis

A class-action lawsuit against Michigan state and the Flint school district was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at the federal court on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Fifteen plaintiffs have been named in the case, with the ACLU representing 11 families and over 30,000 children. It claims that the state and school districts violated three laws on education.

The filing of the lawsuit comes nearly a year following the expose on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It alleges that the local government was liable for exposing school children to lead poisoning. It also alleges that the school districts didn't properly provide students with the right tools to counter learning disabilities brought by lead poisoning.

ACLU cites that school districts in Michigan should have considered these kids for special needs education and have allocated the resources. Instead, the kids were either suspend or expelled, which has led to a high number of incidence in Flint school districts.

"There isn't anything being done to help kids," Kary Moss of ACLU said, according to CNN. "We have parents asking for their kids to be assessed and that's not being done for months. There's not vision or hearing screening," the director of ACLU added.

Specifically, ACLU said that the Michigan state and school districts violated laws like Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. It is asking the courts to let Michigan school districts halt suspensions and expulsions because these are illegal.

It is also asking the state to come up with remedies and special monitoring for the children, especially for ages 3-years-old to 5-years-old. The full details to the lawsuit is found at the ACLU site.

The state nor Michigan's Department of Education has not commented on the lawsuit. However, a spokesperson said that the governor's office has been coordinating with schools with regards water safety and has allocated a budget for this.

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