U.S. Appellate Courts & Supreme Court
Z.B. and his family are Muslim. His father was born in India, and is now a U.S. Citizen. His mother was born in Oregon, is Caucasian, and converted to the Muslim faith. During the time Z.B. was an elementary student in Irving ISD, his parents allege he was discriminated against because of his race/national origin and that Irving retaliated against him because of a protected activity (parents advocating on his behalf).
Among their complaints were that Z.B. was targeted by staff numerous times for minor infractions, he wa he was called "Tally" (Taliban) by peers, his father was barred from campus for demanding his son not be questioned alone, the district made unfounded CPS reports of abuse against the parents, and that staff were deliberately indifferent to their reports of intentional discrimination based on national origin and race.
Z.B.'s parents filed suit on behalf of their son, Z.B., under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court dismissed the claim on a 12(b)(6) Motion and the case appealed. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court's ruling, writing that while "the treatment allegedly endured by Z.B. and his family...is troubling...not all troubling behavior is actionable under Title VI."
In 2009, the parents of Chance Clyce filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants affiliated with the Hunt County Juvenile Detention Center for neglecting to provide medical care to their son while in the Center's custody. A district court dismissed claims against two defendants and granted summary judgment in favor of the remaining defendants. The case was appealed to the 5th Circuit who affirmed the original decision.
In 2014, Chance and his parents filed a second lawsuit against multiple defendants affiliated with the same Detention Center and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. The district court dismissed Clyce's claims for being untimely under the relevant statute of limitations. The decision was appealed and the 5th Circuit reversed the dismissal and remanded for further proceedings, including consideration of res judicata.
In 2018, the district court dismissed Clyce's case again, this time on res judicata grounds. The district court's decision was again appealed and the 5th Circuit agreed with Clyce that res judicata should not apply, reversed the dismissal, and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Dallas ISD was on notice that “Doe”, a special education student in a self-contained classroom, was being repeatedly assaulted by a male classmate. The male student eventually raped Doe in the class bathroom, a foot away from his desk. Her mother sued Dallas ISD on Doe's behalf, asserting that the school violated her right to be free from sex discrimination under Title IX.
The district court judge granted Dallas ISD’s Motion to Dismiss the claim on the grounds that Doe failed to exhaust all administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), even though the case was not about special education (FAPE). Doe appealed to the 5th Circuit who reversed and remanded the district court’s decision, writing that, “Doe's suit is about sex discrimination; a non-disabled student could have brought [the same allegation] and, … [would not be required] to exhaust...administrative remedies under IDEA.”
An eight-year old child with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities was serving an in-school suspension in the principal’s office when he became upset and ran into the hallway. There, he encountered a School Resource Police Officer (SRO) who handcuffed him, forced him back into the principal’s office, and screamed names while mocking and laughing at him. When the child’s parents came to pick him up, they too were met with unprofessional and unreasonable behavior by the SRO.
The child’s parents brought suit for violations of the ADA, Section 504, and constitutional claims pursuant to Section 1983. The district court granted the City of Southlake's motion for summary judgment. Wilson appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit who agreed with the Plaintiff that the district court erred in granting summary judgment and vacated and remanded the lower courts ruling.
Shaikh v. Texas A&M Univ. College of Medicine
U.S. Court of Appeals
Fifth Circuit: No. 16-20793
Shaikh was a medical student at Texas A&M (TAMU) who began having trouble studying and concentrating. He did not pass his first attempt at USMLE Step 1 due to these health problems and was advised by the school’s Dean to take a one-year leave of absence in order to study for the exam again. Shaikh took the leave but his conditioned worsened and he was dismissed from TAMU. He appealed, and was given the choice to withdraw from the school or be dismissed. Shaikh chose to withdraw in order to give him the option to be re-admitted. He applied for readmission three times and, despite being told that he had “a good chance” to be accepted back by several members of the faculty, he was rejected each time with the university ultimately deciding that he was “not an acceptable applicant and...a liability for psychiatric reasons”.
Eventually, it was discovered that Shaikh's condition was orignally misdiagnosed by TAMU medical services. His symptoms of concentration and memory loss were instead found to be caused by a tumor in his pituitary gland. Shaikh filed suit for disability discrimination under Section 1983, the ADA, and Section 504 but the district judge dismissed all claims. He appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit who reversed and remanded the district court’s judgment with respect to Shaikh’s stated claim under Section 504.