Frederick County to hear recommendations following DOJ students with disabilities investigation

The Frederick County School Board is working to make amends after an investigation by the United States Department of Justice uncovered discrimination against students with disabilities.

According to officials, the investigation found that the Frederick County Public School District unnecessarily and repeatedly secluded and restrained students as young as 5-years-old.

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick says is has been an emotional process for special education families. First, learning of what was happening to their children in school - then coming together as a community to make sure it never happens again.

The investigation, opened in October 2020 and revealed thousands of incidents of seclusion and restraint in just two and a half school years, officials with the Department of Justice said.

We cannot stand by and watch schools put children with disabilities in isolation thousands of times and call it public education," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in a statement released in December of last year. "The district's unlawful use of seclusion and restraint did not help students; it led to heightened distress and denied them access to a safe and positive learning environment. Frederick County Public Schools understand the significant work ahead under this agreement and we will ensure that they institute all the institutional reforms necessary to comply with the law."

On Wednesday, the school board will hear recommendations for ways to improve their special education programs.