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What Parents Discussed at the Milestones Legal Clinic

By Rosa K. Hirji The parent clinic at Milestones Preschool was a resounding success!  My own son, Samir, attended Milestones and I cannot recommend it enough for a supportive, mainstream environment for children with special needs and their parents.  It is an awesome place for any child!  A heartfelt thanks to Milena Bice for organizing the event, providing food and …

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Lawyers for Children in Special Education by Jenny and Rosa

Our contribution to a new book on the role of lawyers for children was published this month! Our chapter, “Setting the Record Straight: Child Advocacy and Responses to Mental Health,” focuses on the school as the first point of intervention to address the mental health needs of youth; and the consequences to the child and community when the school fails …

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From The Classroom to the Court Room: Education & the “Right” to an Education

The importance of education has been stressed to me since I was in elementary school.  My grandmother used the phrase “college is not an option, it is mandatory”.   Getting the opportunity to go to college, made me appreciate my family’s persistence in pushing for higher education.  Attending college also instilled a sense of responsibility of wanting to give back to …

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Civil Rights Data Shows Disparities for Students with Disabilities and Students of Color

The Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, released last week, the results of the national data collection for the 2011-2012 school year. African American students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students; and students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive out-of-school suspensions that students without disabilities. Another shocking statistic: …

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Are Parents Who Enroll Their Children Into Charter Schools Inadvertently Giving Up Essential Rights?

Are parents who enroll their children in charter schools inadvertently giving up essential rights? Rosa Hirji analyzes two important court decisions where students expelled from charter schools are found not to be entitled to due process hearing procedures, and calls into question the “public” nature of charter schools.  The American Bar Association’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee spotlights Rosa’s article.