Please see below a message from Raun Rasmussen, Executive Director of Legal Services NYC, on the wonderful work by Nelson Mar, a senior education law attorney at Bronx Legal Services and a member of AABANY’s own Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and his colleagues at Legal Services for New York City, which is AABANY’s collaborator in providing pro bono opportunities to our members and offering pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic violence. Congratulations to everyone involved in this important case!
I’m writing to highlight a landmark settlement in education policy won by Nancy Bedard (Brooklyn), Tara Foster (Queens), and Chris Lamb, Nelson Mar and Nanette Schorr, (Bronx), along with co-counsel from Cuti Hecker Wang, in T.H. et al. v. Farina, et al. The decision puts an end to the unnecessary and harmful practice of sending students who experience emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric events to the emergency room. Under a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court on Monday, the NYC Department of Education will now implement new protocols to avoid unnecessary 911 calls and better train NYC public school staff to de-escalate, rather than aggravate, encounters with children who are struggling.
Our litigation team represented 11 children and their parents in this case. The settlement is a win not only for these children and their parents, but for student rights and health throughout NYC public schools. Working together across the City, our advocates have had an enormous positive impact on the lives of those who need us most. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to even more successes in 2015.
The settlement has already garnered media attention in WNYC, the Wall Street Journal, and NY1. I encourage everyone to have a look at the coverage below. Great work team!
Links to coverage:
WNYC: City Agrees to Stop Schools from Using 911 for Discipline
Wall Street Journal: Students Suit Settled in New York City
On Saturday, December 10, AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee presented two community workshops at the Indochina Sino-American Community Center (ISACC) in Manhattan’s Chinatown. In the morning, Kings County ADA Kin Ng and elder law attorney Pauline Yeung-Ha, partner at Grimaldi & Yeung, spoke about financial abuse of seniors. In the afternoon, Nelson Mar, senior staff attorney at Legal Services NYC, spoke about the educational rights of immigrant children in New York City public schools. Peter Cheng, Executive Director of ISACC, and his staff provided translation services to the many members of the Chinatown community that came out to learn more about their legal rights in the areas of elder law and education law. Tony Lu and Karen Wu, co-chairs of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, helped to organize the program as part of AABANY’s effort to reach out to the community. For photos of the event, go to http://bit.ly/aabany_isacc2011. For more information about the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, contact Tony and Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.