Stopping the Autism Shuffle


Judge Strongly Rejects School District of Philadelphia’s Motions to Dismiss in Autism Case

In October 2011, Judge Legrome Davis rejected the district’s motions to dismiss or limit the scope of PV. The district had argued that because the plaintiffs had not tried all possible administrative solutions and were allowed to stay in the school they wanted, they did not have standing to sue. Judge Davis disagreed, writing that the problems alleged extend far beyond the four named plaintiffs and could implicate the district’s entire system for educating students with autism.

Judge Davis recognized that automatic and arbitrary transfers will continue to be a problem for students with autism until a system-wide solution is found, and he wrote that the case would look at not only written policies but also implicit or de facto policies. Judge Davis also refused the District’s motion to strike class allegations.