(ProPublica) – Georgia has been illegally and unnecessarily segregating thousands of students with behavioral issues and disabilities, isolating them in run-down facilities and providing them with subpar education, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Some of the students in the program were schooled in the same inferior buildings that served black children in the days of Jim Crow. The investigation found that many of the buildings lack gyms, cafeterias, libraries, labs, playgrounds and other amenities.
“It’s a warehouse for kids the school system doesn’t want or know how to deal with,” a parent told the Justice Department of the program. The Justice Department detailed its findings in a letter earlier this month to Georgia’s governor and attorney general.
Federal law mandates that schools educate students with disabilities in the “least restrictive environment” in which they can learn and thrive. More broadly, public entities must serve people with disabilities in the “most integrated setting.”