The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is investigating Allen ISD after a parent accused the district of violating the rights of her child with special needs.
Christina Cabral’s son, Nicolas, has TAR syndrome, a condition that caused him to be born without arm bones or knee joints. He also has a blood clotting deficiency due to the syndrome, making seemingly minor injuries potentially life-threatening.
“When he does fall, his risk of brain hemorrhaging and internal bleeding is really high because with his low platelets his blood doesn’t clot,” Cabral told CBS 11.
Cabral claimed that, after she explained her son’s condition to school officials, the district’s solution was to have him restrained with a gait belt in a stroller. The district also reportedly provided a plastic toilet on the floor for her son’s bathroom needs.
“Allen ISD strongly believes that the claims in this complaint are without merit, and all procedures were followed in accordance with the law,” the district asserted in a statement to CBS 11.
Allen ISD is not the only North Texas school district the DOE is investigating for alleged neglect of special needs students.
The federal agency also has five open complaints against Carroll ISD, which has been accused of failing to provide federally required special needs accommodations or an individual educational plan for its special needs students, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Despite the two districts’ alleged failures to provide adequate accommodations for their special needs students, they are some of the top-performing school districts in Texas, especially compared to nearby failing Dallas ISD.
Both Carroll ISD and Allen ISD received an “A” accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency for the 2021-2022 school year. Furthermore, they garnered 100% on-time graduation rates for the Class of 2022.
Dallas ISD only managed a “B rating” and logged an alarming on-time graduation rate of 81.1%, meaning almost a fifth of its Class of 2022 did not walk at commencement.