|Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia|
|United States District Court for the District of Columbia|
|Full case name||Peter Mills et al. v. Board of Education of District of Columbia et al.|
|Date decided||August 1, 1972|
|Docket nos.||Civ. A. No. 1939-71|
|Citations||348 F. Supp. 866|
|Judge sitting||Joseph Cornelius Waddy|
Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, 348 F. Supp. 866 (D.D.C. 1972), was a lawsuit filed against the District of Columbia in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The court ruled that students with disabilities must be given a public education even if the students are unable to pay for the cost of the education. The case established that "all children are entitled to free public education and training appropriate to their learning capacities". Peter D. Roos, a former staff attorney at Harvard University's Center for Law and Education, described Mills as a "leading case" in a series of lawsuits that attempted to provide access to education for children with disabilities.
Children were denied education because they were classified as having behavioral issues. The board of education did not provide schooling for these exceptional children, which violated their own board regulations. 18,000 similar cases were discovered in the Washington D.C. area. It had failed to provide prior hearings and periodic reviews of each exceptional student case. The Supreme Court of the United States stated that the board of education of the district of Columbia violated such rights as due process and certain statutes and regulations. The court claimed that the board of education had an obligation to provide education for all students, regardless of disability. By not providing equal protection and education for all students under law, the education system is stripping students of their natural rights, and therefore having a large impact on civil liberties in the United States.
- Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, 348 F. Supp. 866, 877-78 (D.D.C. 1972).
- Henry A. Beyer, A Free Appropriate Public Education, 5 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 363, 365 (1983).
- Peter D. Roos, The Potential Impact of Rodriguez on Other School Reform Litigation, 38 Law & Contemp. Probs. 566, 572 (1974).
- Text of Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, 348 F. Supp. 866 (D.D.C. 1972) is available from: CourtListener Justia
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