JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Local mother Charlene Daniels is outraged with the Duval County Public School system.
Her family filed a lawsuit in federal court last week because she believes DCPS discriminated against her son.
“It was very difficult for us to process,” Daniels said.
She says back in 2013 she brought her son to his pediatrician and they noticed his speech was not developing like it should.
“It is extremely hard to watch your child struggle to communicate,” Daniels said.
Daniels said he was also referred to Wolfson Children's Hospital where doctors told her he needed therapy at least four times a week.
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Daniels said around the same time, DCPS also evaluated him. But she says they had a completely different response.
“They determined he had speech errors but one thing they noted was the deletion of ending consonant sounds and that was deemed an African-American dialect issue,” Daniels said.
In the suit, Daniels states because she was told his problem was "common to all African-Americans,” he was denied therapy.
She says she had to seek private therapy. Now Daniels is pushing for change.
“I want them to develop a better way to evaluate their students, one that does not focus on race, one not rooted in stereotypes or bias,” Daniels said.