Athlete Taking Legal Action Against ISD

Prosper ISD
Rock Hill High School | Image by Prosper ISD

A former Prosper Rock Hill High School softball player and her parents have filed a petition against Prosper ISD in Collin County, alleging the school district failed to provide her with the necessary accommodations for her educational plan.

Jocelyn Spence, who spent two years as a shortstop with the program, and her parents claim her coaches failed to adhere to the requirements of her plan as stated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is “designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Education” and “requires free appropriate public education to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability.”

Those accommodations include providing the same opportunities to students with disabilities as their peers, supplying related aid and services, and tailoring their education to meet their individual needs.

Spence’s education falls within the parameters of the act as she has ADHD and Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Multiple legal pundits told the Dallas Morning News that Spence’s experience is not very unusual because some conditions are not as obvious and tend to be disregarded.

The petition is the first step of the civil lawsuit process, which in this case, could turn into a federal lawsuit.

“While federal privacy laws prevent the district from commenting on individual student situations in detail, we do not believe that we have discriminated in any way against this student,” the school district said in a statement denying the allegations. “As a district, we are committed to the success of our students, their well-being. Our goal is to set our students up for success, on the field and in the classroom.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Spence family has also previously filed complaints with the Texas Education Agency and had grievances denied by the Prosper ISD school board.

The Dallas Express has contacted the Prosper ISD Athletic Department, Prosper ISD superintendent Dr. Holly Ferguson, and Spence’s legal team for further comments on the matter but received no response.

According to Collin County court records, a hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on June 28 in the 471st District Court.

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