Mitchum v. Santa Barbara School District

Santa Barbara High School Improves Access for Students with Mobility Disabilities
Status: 
Settled

DRA reached a class action settlement with the Santa Barbara School District in improved access to the District's High School.

DRA represented several students with mobility disabilities who had been subjected to discriminatory and dangerous conditions at this high school.

One of the students, Liana Mitchum was struck three times by cars on her way to class on the Santa Barbara High School campus. Because the high school lacked accessible routes through school buildings and around the campus, she was forced to navigate her way to class on a dangerous campus roadway. Despite repeated complaints to school officials, nothing was done to protect Liana's safety until after this case was filed.

In addition, Liana was routinely disciplined for being late to class — tardiness that was caused by the pervasive access barriers at the school. She was also denied necessary rest room privileges, forced to leave her wheelchair outside classrooms, and prohibited from enrolling in classes of her choice on the basis that they were situated at inaccessible locations at the school.

This case sought to provide equal access to all school buildings and educational programs at the 23 public schools in Santa Barbara and to implement a disability awareness program for all staff and students.

Disability: 
Mobility
Life Area: 
Education/Schools