On October 13, 2023, Federal Court Judge Jesus Bernal found that the Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) campus security program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This ruling will hold MVUSD accountable for systemic discrimination displayed against students with disabilities and require district leaders to meet compliance with federal disability rights laws. 

The court found that MVUSD, located in Riverside County California, violated the rights of students with disabilities in numerous ways. The staff allowed teachers to refer disabled students to school police for disability-related behaviors, failed to train school police about students with disabilities, and authorized school police to physically restrain students including the use of handcuffs.

The ruling stems from a case brought against the district in 2021 by the family of a student with disabilities who was tackled and handcuffed during a manifestation of his disability in a 2019 incident. 

The Plaintiff’s father shared, “C.B. did nothing wrong except being born Black with disabilities and we are grateful the court’s ruling will make it possible to ensure that no child with a disability is treated like this again at MVUSD.” 

Judge Bernal’s decision will ensure that all students with disabilities are treated fairly and safely by properly trained school district personnel.

Additional reading: