Home > Uncategorized > Lest We Forget: Parents of Children on “Got To Go” List Prevail in Lawsuit Brought Against Success Academy

Lest We Forget: Parents of Children on “Got To Go” List Prevail in Lawsuit Brought Against Success Academy

March 20, 2021

In the Fall of 2015 the newspapers in NYC (and this blog) described the reprehensible practice of Success Academy when it came to dealing with children with handicaps and children who were deemed “disruptive”. Instead of providing services to those children to help them cope— which one would think a school named “Success Academy” would do— the school developed a “Got to Go” list of children whose parents were harassed to the point where they had no choice but to withdraw their children. This Lawfuel blog post describes how the school dealt with these five children:

The case charged that Success Academy engaged in practices targeting students with disabilities, in order to force them to withdraw. The practices detailed in the suit included regularly removing the children from the classroom and calling the parents multiple times daily.

“Success Academy’s harsh, inflexible, one-size-fits-all approach to discipline is at odds with its obligation to reasonably accommodate students’ disabilities,” noted Kayley McGrath, an associate in Stroock’s Litigation Group. “These children and their families were forced to withdraw from the Success Academy network not only because their educational needs were not being met, but also because they were explicitly not welcome there. This Judgment recognizes that children with disabilities deserve access to an accommodating learning environment that approaches their needs not with contempt, but with empathy.”

“Success Academy forced these families to withdraw their children by bullying and daily harassment, instead of providing a quality education free from discrimination,” said Laura D. Barbieri, Special Counsel to Advocates for Justice. “New York’s parents and children deserve better, and we are pleased these families achieved justice.”

The lawsuit awarded the parents of the children with $2.4 million… but only after they went through the grueling treatment at Success Academy and the grueling process of trials and hearings. Oh… and only after their children waited 51/2 years to get the justice they sought. These children who are now 10 and 11 years old began their efforts as Kindergartners… New York’s parents and children DO deserve better. They deserve to attend fully funded public schools that welcome them even if they present challenges to the school and even if the school needs to become more flexible to adapt to them. Public schools have no choice but to operate in that fashion. Charter schools? Not so much.

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