In the Sacramento city school district, nearly half of students with disabilities are separated from peers. A lawsuit claims the district is violating federal law

Stephen’s teachers started sending him to the separate room when he was in first grade.

Now 10, Stephen has been diagnosed with autism and anxiety. His mom said that when he got frustrated and behaved in ways teachers found disruptive – breaking pencils, blurting out or crumpling paper – educators swiftly removed him from the classroom, sending him to a room where he would sit the rest of the day without access to school work.

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