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A Virginia school district is suing to reverse the education plan for one of its severely autistic African-American students.

The Henrico County School Board filed a suit in February to appeal the December decision of a special hearing officer, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. That hearing concluded that the school system failed to provide Gregory Matthews with a free, appropriate education, and that Henrico must contribute financially for him to attend a private school that can provide the quality education he needs.

But the county contends that it has made progress educating 15-year-old Matthews, who is nonverbal.

Henrico is one of four state school districts that the Virginia Department of Education flagged for disproportionately punishing Black students with learning disabilities, compared to what it provides White and Hispanic students with similar challenges. School officials in the districts suspend their learning disabled African-American students at least three times more often than their disabled peers. Meanwhile, there’s also an ongoing U.S. Department of Education investigation into racial bias complaints against all four of the school districts.

Federal law requires public school districts to provide a free and appropriate education for students with learning disabilities. After collaborating with teachers and education specialists to develop an individualized plan for their child, parents can dispute how effectively the school is implementing the strategy.

Matthews’ parents exercised their right to dispute the quality of education that Henrico was providing their son. They complained that he was not making sufficient progress. The parents wanted to send him to a private school in the county that specializes in educating autistic children. The county, however, would have to contribute about $23,000 a year for the private school, which is about one-third of the full tuition. The parents contend that the school simply does not want to pay.




(Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch & Richmond )

School District With Racial Bias Issues Challenges The Education Plan For An Autistic Black Student was originally published on

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6 thoughts on “School District With Racial Bias Issues Challenges The Education Plan For An Autistic Black Student

  1. Leslie on said:

    “Mac Daddy” who I am also fairly sure is actually a White, racist BIGOT, please at least take the time to learn a little bit about what you’re commenting on PRIOR to opening your mouth, and displaying your ignorance! I have first-hand experience with this, as we have TWO children with autism, and YES, the school district is REQUIRED to offer an education that is not only comparable to that of their peers, but which also produces RESULTS, and EVIDENCE of their learning! The reason that assurances such as this are in place is to assure that ALL children are receiving the education that they are entitled to, and for children with Special Needs, that sometimes necessitates them attending schools specifically set up to deal with their needs (from a logistical standpoint, e.g., sensory and safety needs, etc) and where the staff may be significantly more experienced in working with their specific abilities! You need to be a LOT more careful with throwing your hatred around, because you never know what fate karma might have in store for you and/or YOUR family!

  2. It has already been flagged for disproportionately punishing AA students with learning disabilities. So giving them an equal education in line with other students is not a consideration on their radar. These parents (not just a Black woman you incest-bred a$$hole dumb daddy) want what is best for their child that is no less than what other students receive. Yet another set of ignorant racist hillbillies caught…….

  3. Mac Daddy on said:

    If the school district had to pay $23k for every learning disabled AA, the damn state would go bankrupt. Just another of a black women trying to get something for nothing

  4. Ted Gravely on said:

    So what is the Disrrict doing for the white autistic students? If the black parents are simply requesting equity, then the District is racist. Smart parents…..don’t take any less for your kids, and stay deeply involved. These bigots are used to black parents just taking what they say. When you question and then point to the rules and standards, all of a sudden they are shocked and surprised that they abide by them. Call it what it is – racism. Keep fighting.

    • Leslie on said:

      This sums it up perfectly, and sadly, Black and other minority parents DO typically end up receiving far fewer services for their differently-abled children, often because of a lack of info-sharing, a lack of adequate research to determine what their kid’s actual rights are, and just plain tolerating the status quo that has allowed these district to continue to feed their children crumbs because they don’t think they’re “worth” the effort!

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