Black Rose Foundation for Children, Inc. Legal, Education, and Advocacy Program (L.E.A.P.) provides free legal advice, advocacy, and legal representation to low-income and foster care children.  The Program focuses on special education and school discipline law.  All children with learning related disabilities are entitled to an appropriate public education.  That right is violated if those disabilities are not properly addressed or if students are improperly barred from their classrooms and schools. L.E.A.P advocates for students in schools where parents or the DFCS are unable to obtain appropriate educational services for the children.  In addition, L.E.A.P. represents students facing suspensions in tribunal hearings.  In Georgia, school discipline is often imposed by suspending students out of school.  Recently, as many as 8% of Georgia’s students were suspended, at least once, during the school year. Students with disabilities had an even higher rate at 15%.  The Black Rose Foundation for Children believes that statistic demonstrates the need for more sensible school discipline policies and a disparity in treatment of students with disabilities.  

L.E.A.P. supports and encourages holistic representation.  Our work not only includes representation, but consultation with mental health professionals on legal cases where appropriate.  We currently provide training sessions for parents related to Constitutional Rights, Education Law, and School Advocacy through our partnership with Auburn Avenue Legal Services.  In 2017, we will begin providing trainings to legal and education professionals in the areas of Trauma, Child Development, Behavior Modifications/Interventions and Competency.  Although legal representation for low income and foster children is important, the goal of L.E.A.P. is to promote positive experiences for all children in a school setting by encouraging a community that recognizes preventative, rather than reactionary, methods.

L.E.A.P. offers legal advice and representation in the following areas:
Special Education

  • The identification of children with disabilities who need special education
  • The evaluation and testing of special needs children, including the right to an independent evaluation
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, concerning services and placement for children with special needs
  • Due process hearings and state complaints to resolve disputes with the school system regarding special education services

School Discipline

  • Student tribunal hearings where school suspensions or expulsions have occurred
  • "Manifestation determination" meetings, to review the discipline imposed on a child with special needs and/or in need of special education

L.E.A.P. offers mental health and legal trainings in the following areas:

    • Constitutional Rights, Education Law, and School Advocacy
    • Trauma and Child Development, Behavior Modifications, Competency



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