How can I become more spiritually skilled

"I am not mentally disabled" - wrongly at the special school. Maybe not an isolated case?

COLOGNE. A 21-year-old now had to spend his school days at a special school for intellectual disabilities - although there were indications that he was completely under-challenged there. When he makes it out, he catches up with his secondary school leaving certificate - and sued the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Actually, it's just a court decision, but for Nenad M. it's more. The 21-year-old calls it a “feeling of freedom” that he now feels. He speaks of "consolation". From his point of view, something very fundamental was determined at the Cologne Regional Court: “That I am not mentally handicapped”, he says. Because although he actually knew that himself - the doubts had haunted him - after everything that had happened. "Sometimes in dreams."

The Cologne Regional Court has now decided that Nenad M., as a young man who was wrongly sent to a special school for intellectual disabilities, is entitled to compensation from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. NRW has violated its official duties and is liable for the incorrect schooling of the 21-year-old today. No decision has yet been made about the amount of compensation. Nevertheless, it is a signal. The former special needs student had, among other things, claimed around 40,000 euros in damage due to loss of earnings.

Nenad M. had attended a special school for intellectual disabilities until he was 18, first in Bavaria, then after moving to Cologne. But there he felt completely underchallenged. He sued the country because he saw himself being wrongly held at the special school. Again and again he asked in vain to change schools. One could and should have recognized that the focus on intellectual development was wrong.

Since the school did not change, his chances were blocked, including the possibility of completing his secondary school diploma earlier and starting an apprenticeship at the age of 16. He did not graduate from secondary school until later, when he was one of the best in his class at a vocational college.

Not an isolated case

The district court ruled that the school in Cologne should actually have noticed during an annual review that there was no longer any need for support in the area of ​​intellectual development. Already with the first certificate in June 2009 - after his move to Cologne - there were enough clues for a detailed investigation. The expert findings made in Bavaria in 2004 could then no longer have provided a basis. The now 21-year-old was classified there as mentally disabled and sent to a special school. At that time he hardly spoke any German. His family comes from Serbia.

Today the 21-year-old works in a supermarket, he would like to do an apprenticeship as a retail salesman. But the applications are not easy - if he writes on his résumé that he has been to a school for intellectual disabilities, it has a very negative effect. In addition to compensation, he also demands compensation for pain and suffering.

The parents' association “Mittendrin”, which advocates inclusion and supported the 21-year-old, asked School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) to check the special needs schools for further cases of this kind. It is not an isolated case. The country can appeal the judgment. It is not yet legally binding.

The Ministry of Education said that the reasons for the judgment will now be carefully evaluated. Since 2014, however, the School Act has given parents a legal right to choose a special school or a general school. This now applies to almost all years of compulsory schooling. "These regulations should ensure that such a case does not repeat itself." dpa

The Cologne proceedings bring the former special school system to court: How many children were wrongly singled out?