The Winton Woods City School District allowed a student with “significant autism” and other developmental disabilities to be bullied while also failing to provide the proper education he needed, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.
The student, identified as A.G., had just 0.5 credits toward graduation as a 17-year-old, according to the lawsuit.
Winton Woods denied the benefits of a public education to A.G. “solely because he is an individual with disabilities,” the suit says.
The Winton Woods Board of Education is named as the defendant. The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Winton Woods sat A.G. in front of a computer and left him to his own unsuccessful devices,” the suit says. “Winton Woods misclassified A.G. for years even though the school district knew that A.G. has a history of marked inattention, hyperactivity … and sensory sensitivities,” a school psychologist found.
The district also used law enforcement “in lieu of a proper education,” the suit says.
A.G.’s mother, Kimberly Gibson, tried to inform the district for several years about her son’s disabilities, as he was subjected to a range of offenses by peers and school leaders. According to the suit:
In 2017, A.G. was sent home from school after he sought a safe space due to bullying. But he returned to school for his potato chips, a snack he often ate as a repetitive behavior. A school resource officer arrested A.G. and took him to jail on disorderly conduct and resisting charges, which were later dropped. On another occasion, a resource officer tackled A.G. as he sought a safe space to reduce anxiety.
In 2016, classmates called A.G. “mentally retarded” and ridiculed his shoes. A physical altercation ensued, and A.G. was suspended.
The next year, a student poured milk down A.G.’s shirt. He shouted in response. Winton Woods threatened A.G. with suspension.