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Landmark Human-rights Ruling Overturned

Disappointment, anger, frustration and sadness—these were the reaction of many parents to a court decision earlier this month overturning a landmark human-rights ruling.

A complaint of systemic discrimination was brought by Rick Moore on behalf of his son and other students with learning disabilities. He complained that the Ministry of Education and his son's school district had failed to provide the services necessary for his son, and other LD children, to allow them to access an appropriate education.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal had ordered the public school system to do more to educate students with severe learning disabilities - or pay to have them educated in private schools.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia overturned that decision explaining that the wrong group of students had been chosen when examining the differences in service levels between groups of students. The court offered that services offered to students in other categories of special needs - not typical students - should have been selected.

Cathie Camley, of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA-BC), strongly disagrees. "The services that students with special needs receive are - across the board - wholly inadequate," she states. To compare one service-impoverished group with another service-impoverished group is ridiculous."

Online Petition Launched

In response, the LDA-BC has started an on-line petition on behalf of ALL students who access special education in acknowledgement that we are all in the same leaky special education boat together.

The petition calls on the Minister to act to improve services for ALL children with extra learning and support needs including:

  • Early screening for all students followed by prompt intervention in the primary grades.
  • Funding for quality services for at-risk students and children designated as special needs. Funding should be based on actual incidence rates and actual costs.
  • Sufficient pre- and in-service training for teachers to ensure they can meet the diverse learning needs in their classrooms.
  • A third-party appeal process for parents. (The appeal process that came into effect last week does not allow appeals from parents seeking more services for special-needs children.)
The petition is at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ldabc/




ACT posts news reports and other sources on this website for the information of our readers only. ACT neither endorses nor condemns this material. We urge readers to consider this information with a critical eye and to form their own opinions about its validity or applicability to their situation.

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