The lawsuit between Ardmore City Schools and the parents of a student appears to have reached its conclusion.
The ACS School Board of Education approved a $3,240 compromise settlement with the family of a former ACS student referred to as “Student A” in court documents. The student’s family sued the district in 2016 for alleged mistreatment of the student, who is autistic and mostly nonverbal, by school staff. ACS Superintendent Kim Holland said the payment will cover the cost of speech language services for the student.
“The bottom line is that the student moved to a different district,” Holland said. “The state department, our lawyer and the parents got together and put a price on that. There was a negotiation.”
The student’s parents filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, citing recordings made by the student and a series of incidents as far back as 2013 allegedly violating Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which protects elementary and secondary school students with disabilities.
The ACS board voted on and approved a partial settlement agreeing to pay no more than $30,000 to cover the plaintiffs’ legal fees last September. Holland became superintendent after former superintendent Sonny Bates’ departure in 2016.  
Two years ago, the district was ordered to provide speech therapy and counseling by the state Department of Education. Now that the student is in a different district, ACS will pay for those services rather than provide them directly.
“We struck a contract with OU to provide the counseling that the (student) needs,” Holland said. “The solution was to do what we’ve done here.”
Holland said the lawsuit has proven a costly lesson for the district. As a result, they’ve replaced their online speech pathology programs with four in-person speech pathologists.
“Paperwork was done incorrectly, the hearing officer cited that,” Holland said. “There were some things, while not illegal, that could have been done better.”