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Wayra’s Story

Wayra, who is cognitively gifted and also has significant impairments in speech and language, needed a school that could meet her unique learning needs.

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Litigation

Nursing Services Cases

Nursing Services Cases

In the fall of 2017, AFC with Greenberg Traurig, LLP filed federal complaints against the New York City Department of Education on behalf of four parents whose children did not receive the nursing services that they required to attend school. As a result of the lack of nursing services, two of the students were unable to attend school for two or more years. The complaints allege that the DOE’s failure to provide nursing services is a result of systemic problems within the DOE. The court in one instance had to issue an injunction ordering the DOE to provide the necessary nursing, transportation, and porter services for a student, noting at the hearing that the student’s denial of education over the past two years is a “Dickensian saga.”

In August 2018, the federal district court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision allowing the lawsuit to proceed. The DOE had moved to dismiss the case, but the Court denied the motion, finding the complaint sufficiently alleged that the DOE’s failure to provide needed services to the three plaintiffs was based on a systemic breakdown in the DOE’s practices, policies, and procedures governing the services it must provide to medically fragile children.  Referring to the DOE’s process for approving school nurses as “Kafkaesque,” the decision states: “Instead of alleviating the burdens borne by disabled students and their families, the current policies spawn a cumbersome and counterintuitive bureaucracy that undermines the goal of educating these children.”

Associated Documents

Amended Complaint [PDF], November 7, 2017

Decision Denying Motion to Dismiss [PDF], August 28, 2018

Coverage by NBC New York, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post