Child sues private school in BR
under disabilities act
by Brett Barroquere,
August 14, 2002
A disabled girl wants a federal judge to force a private school in
Baton Rouge to admit and accommodate her.
identified only as "Lila Doe," sued the Martin Luther King Jr.
Christian Academy in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, claiming the
school illegally denied her admission because she is disabled.
Gideon Carter, the attorney for "Lila Doe," declined
to disclose the nature of the girl's disability or what grade she is
Carter said the school rejected her admission
application in the 2001-02 school year, and added that the girl is
seeking to attend again.
"I can't tell you any more than what's in the
lawsuit," Carter said.
Carter wants U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola to
order the school to accept the girl this year and make accommodations
A call placed to the school Tuesday was answered by
a woman who identified herself as the principal but declined to give
She said she is familiar with the plaintiff, but had
no comment about the lawsuit.
"Lila Doe" is suing the school under the Americans
With Disabilities Act and under the Louisiana Civil Rights for
Handicapped Persons Act.
The laws forbid public and educational institutions
from discriminating against someone because of a disability.
The laws also require public facilities, such as
schools, to make accommodations for disabled people who are otherwise
qualified to attend the school or use the facility.
The school, founded in 1981, enrolls 295 students
from early education through middle school, according to its Web site.
"Lila Doe" has been denied admission to the academy,
which is at 4295 Prescott Court, because of her disability, Carter
"Defendant has failed to instruct and train faculty
and staff members on the necessity of making reasonable accommodations
for individuals with disabilities," Carter wrote.
The lawsuit does not specify what type of
accommodations would be necessary for the girl.