New Jersey Mom Of Teen With Down Syndrome Sues School For Allegedly Discriminating Against Her At Prom
A New Jersey mom, whose teenage daughter has Down Syndrome, is suing the girl’s school for alleged discrimination following the events that took place at the young lady’s prom in May, USA Today reports.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the way Hillsborough High School reportedly handled the special-needs students at its prom on May 17 caused outrage all across the Garden State. Nine kids with various special needs, one of whom was Lisa Doyle, who has Down Syndrome, attended the prom. However, for reasons that are in dispute, the special needs kids were purportedly forced to leave the prom early.
The prom had been scheduled to end at 11:30 p.m., and the school district sent letters to the parents of prom attendees that everyone would be required to stay until at least 11:15. Further, school officials specifically required that limos couldn’t pick kids up until 11:15 at the earliest.
However, at about 10:40, three special-education aides – identified as Pamela Figard, Kathy Reddan and Toni Marchak — reportedly began rounding up them to take them home, over the protestations of the group as well as the other kids in attendance. The limos reportedly arrived to pick up the special-needs kids well before the time they’d been told they could show up.
One prom attendee supposedly recorded the event. Later, when the principal allegedly demanded the boy turn over his phone, the boy reportedly refused and was escorted out by security.
“[The aides] forced several students with disabilities to leave the dance floor in the middle of a song while the rest of the students continued dancing,” according to the lawsuit.
Additionally, the kids seemingly missed out on the chance to see the prom king and prom queen being crowned.
Doyle’s mother says in the lawsuit that “what was supposed to be an evening they will always cherish turned into a nightmare that will haunt (Doyle and her mother) for the rest of their lives.”
Figard, for her part, says that she merely wanted to give Doyle and the other special-needs kids a chance to walk quickly and safely to their limos without having to make their way past crowds of other attendees.
A school district investigation concluded that, though the children shouldn’t have been made to leave prom early, the aides didn’t herd them out from a sense of malice or discrimination.
The school, for its part, has denied the allegations of discrimination and says that they will make their case in court.
Lily Doyle and her parents have since moved to a new school district.