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Massachusetts Judge Rules in Favor of Learning Disabled Boy 

December 1998 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- A youth attending an out-of-town school because of a reading disability can play hockey for his hometown high school, a judge ruled. The ruling Tuesday could greatly affect special needs students, advocates for the disabled said. 

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association had refused several times to waive its rule and allow 18-year-old Jason Galofaro of Hudson to play for Hudson High School. The MIAA rule, intended to keep schools from stacking their teams with good athletes from outside their districts, required students to play for the school they attend. 

Galofaro is a senior at Keefe Technical-Vocational High School in Framingham, which has only a junior varsity hockey team. He said he would have no hope of being recruited by colleges and possibly getting a hockey scholarship if he remained on the Keefe team. 

Not allowing Galofaro to play for Hudson discriminated against him because of his disability, Judge Herman Smith ruled in Middlesex Superior Court. 

Galofaro would be eligible to play for Hudson High if he were not disabled and would lose a great deal if not allowed to play, while the MIAA would "suffer no significant harm,"' Smith said. 

"This is the best Christmas present Jason could get,'' said his mother, Rose Galofaro. "This boy eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. He was so used to being told no, he was anticipating the worst. He's ecstatic.'' 

Hours after the ruling, Galofaro donned his skates for Hudson High on Tuesday afternoon, taking part in a practice session. ``This is a critical decision enforcing the civil rights of students with disabilities,'' Julia Landau, a lawyer and special education expert with the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, told the Boston Herald. 

Roger Dowd, lawyer for the MIAA, said it could be disastrous to let students move from school to school, picking programs they want. 



Here are some additional articles about retention - 
Retention is still popular with school principals – despite the fact that retention does not address the causes for children’s learning problems. 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/Principals_SchCulture.htm

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