CRPD/C/23/D/41/2017 conjunction with article 4, of the Convention. Rubén is represented by his father, Mr. Calleja Lucas.1 The Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force for the State party on 3 May 2008. A. Summary of the information and arguments submitted by the parties The facts as submitted by the authors 2.1 In September 2009, Rubén, then aged 10, entered grade 4 of compulsory primary education at the mainstream public school Antonio González de Lama de León, where he had been studying in the preceding years with the support of a special education assistant. Up to that point, his integration with his classmates and teachers at the school had been going well. However, from the outset of grade 4, Rubén’s teacher, X, engaged in conduct that signalled rejection of him on account of his disability and subjected him to discrimination, neglect and abuse. In witness statements delivered on 23 January 2012 before Administrative Court No. 1 of León, the mothers of two of Rubén’s classmates testified that the teacher had gone so far as to grab Rubén by the neck and threaten to throw him out of a window and had also threatened to hit him with a chair. The teacher told Rubén’s parents that he was “anti-social and dangerous”, and they were advised to have him transferred to a special education centre. Rubén was also physically assaulted by teacher Y, who slapped him several times. Although Rubén’s parents reported these incidents to the Provincial Director of Education, no investigation was undertaken. 2.2 On 1 December 2009, a psychoeducational report was drawn up; it stated that Rubén had “attention deficit and disruptive behaviour disorder” and it even alluded to a form of “oppositional defiant disorder”. In January 2010, the school asked the behavioural support team to intervene and a social worker began to work periodically with Rubén at school and provide educational guidance to his family and the teaching staff. 2.3 In September 2010, Rubén entered grade 5 of compulsory primary education with teacher Z. From the beginning of term up until 28 October 2010, Rubén received no support from the special education assistant, unlike in previous years, because teacher Z did not consider it necessary. Only after his parents had submitted complaints about the matter was Rubén allowed to have the support of his assistant. However, the teacher displayed a negative attitude and was uncooperative towards the assistant. The authors also state that on 19 January 2011 another teacher engaged in conduct that signalled rejection of Rubén and asked his father to have him transferred to a special education centre. The neglect and abuse by teaching staff continued, yet the school’s management failed to take any measures to resolve the situation, in spite of the complaints submitted by Rubén’s parents to the Provincial Directorate of Education. 2.4 On 13 December 2010, social worker B wrote a socioeducational report regarding Rubén, in which she stated that, according to Rubén’s parents, in grade 4 of primary school Rubén began to exhibit signs of difficulty in adapting to the school environment because of a poor relationship with his teacher. The social worker made a positive assessment of Rubén’s state in the areas of sensory processing, motor skills, personal autonomy, communication and specific skills. She concluded, upon analysis of the school environment, that “taking into account the complications that have arisen in the dynamics of the student’s relationships with his teachers, other professionals and other students in the school, it seems reasonable for Rubén to transfer to another school (albeit one with similar characteristics and resources). It is not necessary to study the case in any great depth to arrive at the conclusion that, here, the child is accustomed to giving inappropriate responses; moreover, it is very difficult to alter such a complex and deep-rooted dynamic. These two factors make the situation practically irreversible and very harmful for both parties, although fundamentally for the child, who is the most vulnerable party (firstly, because he is still developing as a person and, secondly, because he is “handicapped” (deficiente)). 2 The social worker indicated that the management teams should define a process for Rubén’s 1 2 2 Rubén provided a power of attorney that he had signed, authorizing his father to represent him. The Committee stresses that the term “handicapped” (deficiente) is not in accordance with the principles of the Convention, since it likens disability to a handicap (deficiencia), which it is not. The Committee calls upon States parties, their agents and the general population to use the term “persons with disabilities”. GE.20-12764

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