One Year Ago Today
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
One year ago today Mayor De Blasio announced that all New York City public schools would shut down due to the intensifying pandemic. Our law office had shut down just a few days earlier, on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
When I close my eyes and reflect on the past year, the images in the video montage of my mind's eye play fast and furiously:
Sickness, death, financial strain, uncertainty, fears, tears, how to cope?
I think of the impact this past year has had on the clients we represent and on students throughout the country and all over the world:
Zoom learning (a.k.a. loss of learning), technology or lack thereof, internet connectivity (perhaps not), absence of therapies, remote learning plans, DOE policy (or no policy), DOE failures to implement orders and disburse payments, bureaucracy and bullying, termination of services, school expulsions, need I go on?
A deep fog permeates these slideshow images as my brain tries to make sense of what we have all experienced over the last 12 months.
At what cost to our children? At what cost to the next generation and the fate of our country? How will we address these deprivations going forward?
There are important legal battles taking place in the courts right now to address these questions. Our firm is playing an active role in this litigation to help shape the new legal landscape. Apart from our role in supporting the litigation in L.V. v. NYCDOE, we are liaising with colleagues, brainstorming ideas for moving forward, and exploring enforcement actions in federal court to force the DOE to do what it is required to do and should be doing already.
When I think about the impact this pandemic has had on our law firm and the lessons we have learned, it is clear to me that this past year has reinforced and strengthened our passion for and commitment to the work that we do. "Whatever it takes!!" has become a mantra around our office because we are committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure our clients get what they deserve. We will not allow bureaucratic barriers to be placed between our clients and the services they require at a time when they need those services the most.
As a result of the important work we have done for our clients over the last 12 months, we've never been prouder to be advocates for children with special needs. We've never been more committed to using our firm's resources to hold the DOE accountable with respect to children's educational rights.
I know we all hoped that New Year's 2021 would wash away the woes of 2020. I hope the fog of this pandemic lifts soon so we can begin to enjoy better days. In the meantime, we are wishing you and your loved ones continued health and safety.
This past year has wreaked havoc on our children's education and there is much work to be done to make up for those educational losses.
If your child was deprived educationally or therapeutically and you would like to explore ways of being compensated for those losses, please feel free to reach out to our office to discuss your particular circumstances.