Parents of Autistic Child Appealing Sharp County Case

OCTOBER 15, 2004 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The parents of an autistic child who sued the state and the Williford School District are appealing a federal judge's decision in favor of the district.  Thomas and Dianna Bradley had claimed their son didn't get the free special education required by law.

A notice was filed in U.S. District Court this week that the appeal would be filed with the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis.

The Bradleys had filed the lawsuit on behalf of their son David and other students in similar circumstances.  They claimed the school district did not provide the legally required educational program to their son.  The suit also claimed that the district didn't ensure that David's teachers had the knowledge and skill necessary to provide the youngster with an appropriate education.

U.S. District Judge James Moody held a hearing on the case in March.  The state and the district said they did provide a sufficient education to David Bradley and others like him.  In his ruling September 10, Moody found that the defendants had not violated the law.  Moody's ruling recited a long history of the district's dealings with David and his parents in efforts to provide him with an education.  They included setting up an individualized education program, and monitoring by state officials from 1994 to 2000.

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