Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a deaf student who sued his public school system for failing to provide an adequate education. The ruling in the case of Miguel Luna Perez could have far-reaching implications for other disabled students who have similarly alleged that they were failed by school officials.
Perez attended public school in Sturgis, Michigan, and his lawyers told the court that for 12 years the school system neglected him and lied to his parents about his progress, permanently stunting his ability to communicate.
After Perez and his family settled a complaint against the school system, which involved officials agreeing to pay for additional schooling and sign language instruction, the family sought monetary damages under a different federal law.
The federal court initially ruled against the family, but the Supreme Court sided with Perez, allowing him to pursue monetary damages under a different federal law. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the court’s opinion, stated that the case “holds consequences not just for Mr. Perez but for a great many children with disabilities and their parents.”
Perez’s lawyer Roman Martinez welcomed the ruling, stating that it “vindicates the rights of students with disabilities to obtain full relief when they suffer discrimination.” The case has been closely watched by disability advocates, who have long been advocating for better support and resources for students with disabilities.