Eastmont School District Sued in Discrimination Lawsuit
A family is suing Eastmont School District, alleging that they discriminated against their child for their disability.
On March 8, parents Sarah and Andrew Strang filed their lawsuit through Douglas County Superior Court.
The Strang family claimed that the district discriminated against their child, who is a Latino student with Down Syndrome, throughout their entire school career.
According to the initial complaint, the student was segregated away from his non-disabled peers while attending Cascade Elementary School and Sterling Junior High School in East Wenatchee.
The Strang couple has been trying to get their child in General Education (Gen-ed) since kindergarten, but was denied repeatedly.
They claim that the child was prohibited from attending school assemblies, could not participate in school electives and was even separated from Gen-ed during lunchtime.
The complaint also states that instead of learning to socialize with non-disabled students, students with disabilities were made to perform janitorial tasks for what was described as “vocational training.”
The parents state that their child wants to be a photographer, not a custodian.
Furthermore, the parents claim the following events as examples of discrimination:
In the 2015-16 school year, the student was not allowed to attend an assembly about “disability awareness.”
In a Veteran’s Day Assembly in 2017, the student was not allowed to participate with his non-disabled students in his music class.
In another Veteran’s Day Assembly, this time in 2019, students with disabilities were only allowed to perform a flag dance from their segregated P.E. class, rather than sing with their non-disabled classmates.
Since that assembly, the student has not been able to participate in future assemblies.
In the 2020-21 school year, the student wanted to play drums in the school band but was denied, with the school stating that he would be behind their other classmates who already started learning their instruments.
Parents suggested giving their child private drumming lessons, but was still denied.
The parents are asking that they be compensated for damages and reimbursement for legal fees.
Eastmont School District Superintendent Becky Berg was unable to provide comment.