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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

U.S. Attorney’s Office Settles Disability Discrimination Allegations at Lexington Chinese School

BOSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached a settlement agreement yesterday with the Lexington Chinese School resolving allegations that the school violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide reasonable modifications to students with disabilities.   

“Children should never be turned away from an education because they have a disability,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.  “More than 25 years ago, Congress passed the ADA to ensure that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in all parts of society.  My office is committed to enforcing this law, and making sure that all places of public accommodation – from schools, to camps, to after school programs – provide children with the modifications they need so that they can participate alongside their peers.”

Lexington Chinese School is a private, non-profit, volunteer-run school in Belmont that provides weekly Chinese language classes and other extracurricular activities to approximately 400 students.  The school allegedly discriminated against two students with disabilities (who are, in fact, siblings) by refusing to make reasonable modifications to serve them in class, and by eventually refusing to allow them to enroll in the school. 

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the school will implement a disability non-discrimination policy; implement a process by which reasonable modifications will be provided to students with disabilities; and facilitate training for teachers who are serving students with disabilities.  Additionally, Lexington Chinese School will pay $7,000 in monetary relief to the family of the two students who were the subject of this alleged discrimination.  

This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Leung and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Dorchak of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Unit.

The Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office was established in 2015 with the mission of enhancing federal civil rights enforcement.  For more information on the Office’s civil rights efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/civil-rights

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Component(s): 
Updated October 4, 2016