Lee County Public Schools agrees to more training to resolve civil rights investigation

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LEE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – Lee County Public Schools will provide harassment training for teachers, administrators and students in order to resolve a civil rights investigation, according to federal documents.

The training is part of the terms of an agreement between the school district and U.S. Department of Education linked to the district’s handling of an assault case involving a child with a disability.

As part of the agreement, Lee County Public Schools does not admit any wrongdoing, but does pledge to do more in the way of prevention.

“By October 30, 2017, the Division will provide training to Elydale Elementary School faculty and administrators and appropriate Division administrators on how to respond promptly and equitably to reports of harassment against students on the basis of disability, including the provision of interim protective measures and protections from retaliation,” the agreement said. “During the 2017-2018 school year, the Division will ensure that all new relevant School and Division staff receive such training within thirty (30) school days of the commencement of their employment.”

In addition, Lee County Public Schools has to provide age-appropriate training to students on bullying and peer harassment, including disability harassment by October 30.

An 11-year-old boy with a disability suffered an injury in December 2016 at Elydale Elementary School after a classmate reportedly kicked him so hard in the groin area he got an infection and a hole the size of a quarter opened up.

The boy responsible pleaded guilty earlier this year in court. Superintendent Dr. Brian Austin, who previously said the district investigated this situation, today said Lee County Public Schools does not have anything to add at this time.

In his civil rights complaint, the boy’s father argued the school district discriminated against his son by failing to adequately respond to the assault and previous bullying.

The Office for Civil Rights entered into the voluntary resolution agreement on August 18.

“The issues that were resolved include disability harassment and retaliation,” a U.S. Department of Education spokesperson said. “However, because this is an open case actively in monitoring, OCR cannot provide additional information.”Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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