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Parents sue Big Beaver Falls school district, claim discrimination against student

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 10:46 a.m.

The parents of a former Big Beaver Elementary School student claim in a lawsuit filed Thursday that school officials deliberately avoided evaluating their son for disabilities despite evidence that he has Asperger syndrome.

Identified only by initials, the parents of J.P., claim a state hearing officer ruled June 12 that the Big Beaver Falls Area School District discriminated against their son and had a policy prohibiting school staff from identifying children with possible disabilities. The hearing officer also agreed to their claims that the district had failed to protect their son from harassment by other students, the lawsuit says.

Their son attended the elementary school from 2007 until 2010, when they moved to another district, the lawsuit says. The parents filed the lawsuit as a class-action on behalf of all Big Beaver Falls students with disabilities and their parents.

Jeffrey Ruder, the parent's lawyer, couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Lee Price, the district's lawyer, declined comment.

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