© 2024 KPCW

KPCW
Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Feds investigate after Park City parent says school district discriminated against disabled son

Karl Persson, a Park City father who has submitted two civil rights complaints about the Park City School District, sits in his home in Park City on Friday, May 10, 2024.
Bethany Baker
/
The Salt Lake Tribune
Karl Persson, a Park City father who has submitted two civil rights complaints about the Park City School District, sits in his home in Park City on Friday, May 10, 2024.

The Park City School District was previously investigated for its handling of student reports of racial, antisemitic and sexual harassment.

The first grader’s bullying started last fall, around the beginning of the school year, his parents say.

He was at a local park when his mother first overheard other schoolchildren “calling him weirdo and things like that,” the boy’s father, Karl Persson, said.

His mother reached out to staff at Jeremy Ranch Elementary to let them know, but nothing happened, the father said.

About a week later, the school’s dean of students, Alane Gaspari, called the boy’s parents to inform them that another student reportedly choked their son at school, Persson said. The next day, the father emailed a number of school administrators and Park City School District officials, noting his concerns. He requested that the other student have no contact with his son.

“I got a nice email from the superintendent, [saying] that we take bullying seriously, we’re going to do all this stuff,” Persson said. But he said again, “nothing really happened.”

The parents ultimately filed a complaint in October with the U.S Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, alleging that the Park City School District failed to adequately investigate the bullying allegations and protect their son.

Their son has a disability and is on an Individualized Education Program, a learning plan designed for students with disabilities, Persson said. The Salt Lake Tribune verified his enrollment at the school but is not naming the son or disclosing his disability in an effort to protect his educational privacy.

The federal office opened an investigation into the Persson family complaint in November to determine whether the alleged harassment has “negatively affected his receipt of a free appropriate public education,” which is a right under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

Read the full story at sltrib.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.