Suing Your High School Over Humiliation

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

I wish I had had Edward Martinez’s courage, or genius rather, when I was in high school. After suffering years of experiences that were “traumatic” and “humiliating” while attending Carson High School, he is now suing the LA school district where his high school resides.

Why didn’t I think of this in high school? All those jerks calling me names. Granted, Edward, who has CP and uses a manual chair, is suing mainly because a lack of accessible transportation which occurred multiple times – on high school field trips and baseball games. It was the same awful experience again and again – bus with no ramp, leaving Edward behind. This kind of thing should not be happening on a regular basis.

Since providing accessible transport to all students in public schools is thankfully included in the ADA, Edward Martinez and his family have a solid case; meaning – they are unequivocally going to win. I can hear the Los Angeles Unified School District shaking in their boots from here.

I should mention this is actually the second time Edward has sued his school district over inaccessible transportation. It does make you wonder how the school could slip up again, especially when the first case resulted in the school settling. As I said above, this kind of thing should NOT be happening repeatedly.

I think what I like most about Edwards’s second lawsuit is that the basis of the suit is on the following statement: “My experience as a Carson High student using a wheelchair was traumatic and humiliating.” Man, if all of us with disabilities decided to sue based on that very statement in high school, the courts would be flooded for decades.

And this case brings up the question – could this type of lawsuit be used towards other places that don’t provide accessible transportation? Hotel shuttles, amusement park shuttles, trams at state fairs? What if I feel humiliated I can’t take the bus back to my hotel?

I know AB people right now are bemoaning Edward’s lawsuit, even some disabled people too, but if you don’t sue, change will never happen. You could write a kind letter asking for better treatment, maybe even send them chocolates, but that only gets you so far, especially when there’s a change of command.

The amount Edward is suing for is undisclosed, but I genuinely hope this is the case of a young man wanting to help those who will come after him; not just a clever way to beef up one’s college savings.

What do you think about Edward Martinez’s lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District?

Read more on the story from NBC Southern California

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

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