/ Modified jan 13, 2017 4:16 p.m.

Suit Accuses Agency of Inadequate Schooling for Havauspai

Bureau of Indian Education understaffs and doesn't provide special education, suit says.

US Department of the Interior Seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the umbrella agency for the Bureau of Indian Education.


A lawsuit filed in federal court has accused the Bureau of Indian Education of failing to provide adequate schooling for students in Arizona’s Havasupai Nation.

The lawsuit alleges the schools are chronically understaffed, don’t provide special education and have curricula that lack key subjects.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Havasupai children at a school in the Grand Canyon. Attorneys said the lawsuit could affect other Bureau of Indian Education schools.

The 95-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix faults the federal government for teaching only math and writing to students and excluding Havasupai children with special needs.

An attorney for the Native American Disability Law Center said similar problems exist at many BIE schools. The bureau oversees 183 schools in 23 states.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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