The Allen Independent School District (ISD) in Texas is being investigated by federal regulators after a civil rights complaint was filed against the district last year. CBS DFW reports the complaint was filed by Karen Mayer Cunningham, a nationally recognized special education advocate, on behalf of a student with special needs and his mother, Christina Cabral. Cabral claims that her son's special needs are not being adequately met by the school district. Her son, Nicolas, has TAR syndrome, a condition that causes him to be missing all of his arm bones and knee joints. As a result, he requires support when walking and is at risk of brain hemorrhaging and internal bleeding if he falls due to his low platelets.
Cabral says that when she enrolled her son in Allen ISD, she detailed his special needs, but when she arrived at his school for his first day, she was told that he would be required to use a stroller with a restraint belt, which could cause him physical harm. Cunningham's complaint alleges that the school district has improperly restrained Nicolas, offered a plastic toilet on the floor for his bathroom needs, and failed to maintain accessible entrances, classrooms, and a playground, all of which violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a statement to CBS DFW, the school district said that it believes the claims in the complaint are without merit, but that it intends to fully cooperate with the investigation. Cunningham is holding a press conference on the matter on Friday at 2 p.m. at the Allen ISD administration building.
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