The Secaucus Board of Education has agreed to pay a disabled student $30,000 following allegations it intentionally prevented the student from attending the 2012 Secaucus Middle School graduation ceremony.
The story may be less nefarious than it sounds, however. In 2012, the school decided that the female student, who has an intellectual and developmental disability, would graduate. But a complaint filed indicated that the school failed notify the girl’s mother.
Due to the lack of notification, the parent simply ignored e-mails she received regarding the graduation, assuming they were not relevant to her daughter. She did not discover her daughter’s promotion until after the ceremony.
The mother claims that her daughter’s teacher said middle school Principal Robert Daniello refused to let her daughter participate in the graduation. Daniello denies the allegations.
Despite the settlement, the school district remains adamant that the incident was a simple miscommunication. The school has agreed to notify disabled students of graduations and special events by both postal and electronic communication methods.