Dad suing school district for denying deaf son treatment

Posted at 10:41 AM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 10:41:24-05

SUMNER COUNTY, TN (WZTV/CNN) - A Tennessee father is suing his son's school system in federal court.

He accuses Sumner County Schools of not giving his son, who is deaf, special therapy to learn how to speak.

Four-year-old Kingston loves Spaghettios and chocolate milk, but he can’t communicate that to his dad.

He's deaf and to make matters worse, his hearing aids are failing.

Jeff Beck says the Sumner County Department of Education is also failing by not giving Kingston the therapy he needs to learn to speak.

Three weeks ago, he enrolled Kingston at Station Camp Elementary and by law, schools must follow a therapy plan - called an IEP - for disabled students.

It's a specialized treatment outlining customized therapy.

The county's special education department must approve and coordinate that treatment with the school before treatment can begin, something Beck says isn't happening.

"Every time I bring in his IEP, which is a mandated document, and legally binding, she just skirts the question, ignores it and goes on with her agenda, whereas he's not getting the services he needs," Beck explained.

He's referring to Karan Shoulders, with the school's special education department.

They're both named in a federal lawsuit Beck filed Monday, accusing the system of denying his son treatment and breaking the law, a move he says is holding Kingston back from catching up with kids his age.

"I could not imagine being 4-years-old and not being able to say, 'I need to use the bathroom. I would like a drink,' you know? 'Good night, dad. Dad, I love you,'" Beck stressed.

So, for now, Beck said he'll hold out hope that one day he'll hear Kingston ask for his chocolate milk.

"But when you see your son and he's trying to tell me something and communicate it's very frustrating," he said.

A spokesperson for the district said they cannot comment on the case since they haven't been served.

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