Supreme Court Unanimously Rules For Deaf Student In Education Case


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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously for a deaf student who sued his public school system for not providing an adequate education. The case could spark major change nationwide as other disabled students have alleged they were failed by school officials.

“The case the justices ruled in involves Miguel Luna Perez, who attended public school in Sturgis, Michigan. Perez’s lawyers told the court that for 12 years the school system neglected the boy and lied to his parents about the progress he was making, permanently stunting his ability to communicate,” PBS reported. “The justices ruled that after Perez and his family settled a complaint against the school system — with officials agreeing to pay for additional schooling and sign language instruction — they could pursue money damages under a different federal law.”

Perez, who emigrated to the United States from Mexico at age 9, argued that the school system failed him by assigning him an aide who was not trained to work with deaf students, did not know sign language, and left him alone for hours at a time in his later years in school.

The school was reportedly inflating his grades and leading his parents to believe that he would earn his high school diploma on time.

Just before graduation, however, his family was told he qualified only for a “certificate of completion.”


After the family filed a lawsuit, the school district settled on one of the claims and agreed to pay for extra schooling and sign language instruction for Perez and his family, among other things, and he graduated from the Michigan School for the deaf in 2020.

After the settlement, the family went to federal court to seek monetary damages.

The federal court ruled against the family, but the Supreme Court sided with the Perez family.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in an eight-page opinion for the court that the case “holds consequences not just for Mr. Perez but for a great many children with disabilities and their parents.”

Perez’s lawyer Roman Martinez said in an emailed statement: “We are thrilled with today’s decision. The Court’s ruling vindicates the rights of students with disabilities to obtain full relief when they suffer discrimination. Miguel and his family look forward to pursuing their legal claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

The Supreme Court has issued a slew of decisions in recent weeks.


The court issued a 9-0 decision that a California woman could not use U.S. bankruptcy code protection to avoid paying a $200,000 debt, which resulted from fraud by her partner.

Last week, the nation’s highest court struck down a lower court ruling that would allow a minor child to go to court to get permission for an abortion ban informing her parents. Biden’s new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was the only justice who dissented in the case.

The Supreme Court made headlines last week when it declined to hear a traveling Christian’s free-speech challenge to a University of Alabama requirement that he obtain a permit before handing out religious pamphlets and preaching from a sidewalk adjacent to its campus.


In a separate case, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week on President Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan.

The nation’s highest court seemed to hint that they could leave Democrats heartbroken with their final ruling. The 6-3 conservative majority could employ a similar doctrine that ended the Obama administration’s landmark power plant emissions rule.

Last year before the midterm elections, Biden’s administration attempted to cancel $430 billion in student debt.

“About 45 million U.S. borrowers hold $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt, with the typical undergraduate finishing college with $25,000 in debt, according to White House figures. Many borrowers experienced financial strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in 2020, the administrations of President Donald Trump, a Republican, and Biden, a Democrat, repeatedly paused federal student loan payments and halted interest from accruing,” Reuters reported.


“Both administrations relied upon a 2003 federal law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act, that allows student loan debt relief during wartime or national emergencies. Biden relied upon the HEROES Act when he unveiled plans to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student debt for Americans making under $125,000 and $20,000 for recipients of Pell grants awarded to students from lower-income families,” the outlet added.

Several conservative justices already have shown skepticism toward allowing a federal agency to make such sweeping decisions.


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