Jason is a 12-year-old Black student who has a learning disability in addition to generalized anxiety disorder and depression. For years, his mother, Jennifer, who is herself an educator, pleaded with Jason’s school district to provide him with therapeutic counseling, but the district repeatedly denied her request.
This year, in the continued absence of any meaningful support, Jason’s social-emotional needs escalated; as a result, he was involved in multiple physical conflicts with peers. However, rather than finally acknowledging that Jason needed more support and amending his Individualized Education Program (IEP), Jason’s school instead recommended him for expulsion. His mom called the East Bay Community Law Center, which immediately requested a copy of Jason’s school records. But then schools shut down due to COVID-19.