Children's Theater Group Settles Peanut Allergy Discrimination Complaint

YSPE

Young Shakespeare Players East – a theater group for children ages 7 to 18 years located in Turners Falls, MA – has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a discrimination complaint calling for the company to provide reasonable modifications to accommodate children with disabilities.
The complaint charged the company failed to accommodate Mason Wicks-Kim of Amherst, an 11 year-old boy with a severe peanut allergy, then retaliated against Trinity Picone-Louro of Wendell, a 12 year-old boy who protested the exclusion of Wicks-Kim.

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The DOJ issued their findings last June determining the company had violated the law and made recommendations for the company to accommodate students with disabilities or face disciplinary action.
Under the terms of the settlement announced by the DOJ this week, the company will enact a non-discrimination policy, provide proper training for staff and will seek to provide “reasonable modifications” for disabled participants.
“Children with disabilities should be able to pursue their interests and participate in a full range of programs and activities,” said Acting US Attorney William D Weinreb.
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Young Shakespeare Players East issued a press release accepting the settlement without admitting to wrongdoing.
The settlement does not bring resolution to the issue according to Mary Vargas, the attorney representing Wicks-Lim and Picone-Louro. Complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination are still pending.

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