The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

July 24, 2013

Education complaint against Iowa DHS in the works

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An advocacy group for people with disabilities said Wednesday that it will file a complaint against Iowa's Department of Human Services alleging that children kept in isolation at a state-run home were denied education.

Disability Rights Iowa, a nonprofit funded by the federal government, wants the state to pay the cost of additional schooling or tutoring and related expenses, such as transportation, the Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/13d3oXv ).

The group alleges that children who were living long term in isolation cells at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo were denied individualized instruction and only given worksheets or instructional packets to complete on their own.

That violates a 24-year-old federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which requires states to ensure that a "free, appropriate public education" is made available to all children with disabilities, according to the group. The law requires instruction to take place in the least restrictive environment possible, said Nathan Kirstein, an investigator with Disability Rights Iowa.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the law "contemplates personalized instruction with sufficient support services," he said.

The Toledo home provides housing, treatment and schooling to youths with serious behavioral problems. Disability Rights Iowa said the home has placed children as young as 13 in long-term isolation cells, and that it's investigating the practice.

"We're looking at the persons who spent a significant amount of time in these control rooms — one of them being the girl who spent about a year there," Kirstein said. "They will be used as examples, basically, of what we believe was a common practice of long-term isolation."

Kirstein said the complaint to the Department of Education will hopefully force the state to examine its records and determine how many children were kept in isolation for extended periods.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Court: Man can seek office despite conviction DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A split Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that allows a Des Moines man to run for state Senate and affirms that second-offense drunken driving is not an infamous crime as defined by the Iowa Constitution. The opinion

    April 16, 2014

  • Iowa Public Radio seeks more from universities IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Public Radio is asking for additional funding from the state's three public universities, a departure from a plan to become financially independent of them, according to a proposal released Tuesday. IPR is asking the Iowa

    April 16, 2014

  • Ex-Iowa doctor gets jail for violating probation HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa doctor convicted of sexual exploitation has been given jail time for violating his probation. Forty-one-year-old Brian Hansen was found in contempt of court on Monday in Franklin County District Court. He'd violated

    April 16, 2014

  • Regents considering Branstad order on settlements IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — More than three weeks later, the Iowa Board of Regents is still figuring out how to comply with Gov. Terry Branstad's order to post employee settlement agreements online. In an executive order on March 24, Branstad ordered his

    April 16, 2014

  • Medical marijuana bill may surface in Senate DES MOINES (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he will sponsor a bill legalizing the sale of medical marijuana in Iowa, reviving an issue once thought dead this year. The persistent efforts of woman who have children with epilepsy chang

    April 15, 2014

  • Iowa investigators join Story County death probe CAMBRIDGE, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is helping local officers probe the death of a woman in the Story County town of Cambridge. Her body was found by officers around 10 p.m. Monday. The woman's name and other details ab

    April 15, 2014

  • Sioux City council advances pit bull proposal SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Sioux City Council has advanced a proposal to change the city ordinance that bars pit bulls from inside city limits. The measure was advanced at Monday's meeting on a second vote and faces a third and final vote next Monda

    April 15, 2014

  • Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law. The Iowa Supr

    April 15, 2014

  • Two Iowans held in abduction of man found in trunk DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two Des Moines residents have been arrested in the kidnapping and beating of a man found in the trunk of a car. Police say they've arrested 53-year-old Debra Oliver and 50-year-old John Deering and charged both with kidnapping

    April 14, 2014

  • Two Iowans die after car collides with ag sprayer VAN HORNE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two Iowa City residents have died after their car collided with an agricultural sprayer in east-central Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred just before 7 p.m. Friday on the west side of Van Ho

    April 14, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National