Lawsuit filed over student exposure to lead in Flint, Michigan, schools
- Donald Trump Sworn in as 45th U.S. President
- Wall Street ends higher as Trump becomes president
- Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Said to Face Antitrust Concern for Rite Aid (RAD) Fix - Bloomberg
- Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Says It Won't Pursue Accelerated U.S. Regulatory Pathway for Opdivo Plus Yervoy in Lung Cancer
- Apple (AAPL) Sues Qualcomm (QCOM) Over Patent Royalties in Antitrust Case - Bloomberg
Get daily under-the-radar research with StreetInsider.com's Stealth Growth Insider Get your 2-Wk Free Trial here.
By David Bailey
(Reuters) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the state education department and Flint schools on Tuesday, saying they had violated federal education laws by exposing students to high levels of lead in their drinking water.
The children must be screened for lead exposure and adequate special education funding must be provided to serve a potentially growing need for services, according to the suit, which also was filed by the Education Law Center and private attorneys.
The lawsuit calls for the defendants - Michigan Department of Education, Genesee County Intermediate School District and Flint Community Schools - to check for elevated blood levels in all children who now, or may, attend Flint schools to determine their eligibility for special education services under the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The state education department and Flint schools declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Flint, a predominantly black city of 100,000, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014. The more corrosive river water caused lead to leach from city pipes and into the drinking water.
Lead can cause mental and behavioral problems in children and Flint's water problem has led to dozens of other lawsuits in various courts.
The ACLU of Michigan's class action was filed on behalf of nearly 30,000 Flint children ranging in age from birth to 19 who could be exposed to lead at home and in school since the water crisis began in April 2014.
"This lawsuit exposes what has gone wrong, including a dysfunctional funding structure, and demands clear and urgent remedies to make it right," said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan's executive director.
The defendants are failing to provide sufficient resources for current needs and not preparing for a likely increase in cases due to the widespread exposure to lead, the lawsuit said.
The budget is inadequate to serve even those 900 of 5,400 students in Flint Community Schools now eligible for special education and related services, the lawsuit said.
The city switched its water source back to Lake Huron in October 2015 after tests found high levels of lead in blood samples taken from children but the drinking water has not returned fully to normal. Flint has been replacing lead pipes running to homes and state officials say the water is safe to drink if properly filtered.
(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Bill Trott)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Egypt's Museum of Islamic Art welcomes first visitors since 2014 bombing
- Turkish police capture suspect in Istanbul rocket attacks: police sources
- Syria peace negotiator says ceasefire on Astana agenda: SANA
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!