ACLU taking legal action against school district as bus strike enters week three
By: Amanda Pitts
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- The ACLU announced Wednesday that they're taking legal action against the Providence School District, saying they're breaking the law each day of the bus strike students with disabilities don't have transportation to school.
In a press conference, the ACLU said they filed a class administrative complaint on behalf of all students in the city with disabilities.
They say that it's a requirement listed in each and every student's IEP that the district provides transportation.
"Every day these kids are out of school, they're further behind," said Christina Marinello, Volunteer Attorney for the ACLU.
Gloria Santos said her daughter is one of those kids. She needs a solid day-to-day routine, and Santos said she'll have a harder time getting back into that routine the longer this goes on.
"She says to me, 'Mommy, why isn't the bus coming to get me?' I tell her, 'I'm sorry but they have stopped the transportation, and I don't have the money to take you."
Constance Young is a parent in the same spot. Her son Jeremy is in a wheelchair, making it impossible to get him to school in anything other than a bus.
"I have just been tearing my hair out trying to figure out how he's going to get to school if he can go to school."
The ACLU is asking the district to pay families up front for transportation, or at the very least help families find alternatives.
Providence's Superintendent, Christopher Maher, says the district has tried a number of the proposals in the complaint, but so far nothing has worked
"We share their concern for the welfare of our students, and we're equally concerned about the disruption to some students education this year."
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