Parma Couple Wins Supreme Court Case on Suing School District Without at Attorney
The New York Times reports that Jeff and Sandy Winkelmann of Parma, Ohio have won their federal lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing the right of parents of children with disabilities to appear without a lawyer in cases filed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which assures all children a “free appropriate public education.” The court did not actually rule that parents can act as attorneys for their children without a law license, but rather that parents have a separate, enforceable interest under the law that they can present on their own behalf, without legal representation.
School districts have dreaded this ruling, which is likely to greatly increase the number of people who file suits over the quality of education received by children with disabilities. However, parents of such children are going to find this greatly liberating, and they will certainly have more leverage in negotiating with schools about classroom procedures and conditions that affect their kids.
UPDATE: My oh my, Jill is good, isn't she? WLST is all over the Winkelman decision today, as in here, here and here.