Judge Prevents Student From Graduating, Says High School Owes Him More

A NJ judge granted a high school student’s request that he not be forced to graduate because he lacks the basic reading skills needed to even pass a driver’s education exam or fill out a job application.

The June 2016 ruling granted emergency relief and directed that the student be provided with further educational services in September while the merits of his case are pending.

The student’s attorney, MARC’s Laura A. Siclari, says the school district ignored his severe learning disabilities by not providing specialized reading and math instruction. As a result, he did not receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), as required by law. The district wanted to graduate him anyway.

The judge said graduation would interrupt the specialized Orton Gillingham reading instruction the district began to provide only two months ago at the demand of counsel, and which finally permitted the student to begin to make meaningful progress after reading at a third grade level for years. The judge also said the student showed he would otherwise be irreparably harmed and suffer greater harm than the district if relief were not granted.

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