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Court decision on Kazuki. vs. Kawasaki city

Plaintiffs: Kazuki Mitsusuga, Shinji Mitsusuga, Etsuko Mitsusuga

The accused: Kanagawa Prefecture, Kawasaki City

Summary of the judgment

1.The text of judicial decision

(1) All of the plaintiffs' claims are rejected

(2) Litigation costs are borne by plaintiffs

2.Summary of the case

Plaintiffs, both Kazuki, who was born on November 14, 2011, and his parents, have claimed that appointing and notifying that Aso Yogo Gakko (Aso Special Education School) is appropriate for Kazuki is illegal. They also ask for cancellation of the notice. (The notice is sent to every parents before January 31 to let them know which school their children will go. This notice becomes problem when children are disabled.) Furthermore, they ask Kawasaki City to make Kawasaki Board of Education admit Kazuki to either Hiashi Ikuta or Sugao Elementary School in his school district. This is mandamus action claiming that Kawasaki City shall admit Kazuki’s going to Sugao Elementary School in his school district.

3. They ask Kanagawa Prefecture to cancel the notice.

(1) Legal requirements regarding procedure of notifying

Kanagawa Board of Education sent the notice on March 26, 2018, which is not observant of the Enforcement Order of the School Education(“the Enforcement Order”). Article 14.1 of the Enforcement Order provides that the notice shall be sent by January 31. The Board of Education insists that they could not sent the notice by January 31 because they needed time to persuade the parents about which school Kazuki would go and it is excusable for being late and they are not to be blamed.

(2) Kawasaki Board of Education decided comprehensively that special education school is adequate for Kazuki based on expert opinions and Article 5.1 of the Enforcement Order. The Enforcement Order provides for the conditions of students who are adequate for special education schools. Special education schools are a part of inclusive education and this case meets the requirement of the Enforcement Order 5.1. Therefore, their decision is not irrational. Furthermore, it is not irrational for Kanagawa Prefecture to approve Kawasaki Board of Education’s decision as well. The plaintiffs insist that the will of Kazuki and his parents is the most important in Article 5.1 and their will should take priority over Kawasaki City Board of Education. However, Article 18.2 provides that expert opinions are also required when the board of education decides which school is suitable for Kazuki. Therefore, plaintiff’s claim cannot be taken as an interpretation of the Enforcement Order.

(3) Deviation and abuse of discretion regarding the notice

Neither Kawasaki City Board of Education nor Kanagawa Prefecture Board of Education waited for Kazuki’s doctor’s certificate or kindergarten teachers’ opinions before they decided which school is adequate for Kazuki. However, as there is no mistake in understanding about important points about his disability, the above is not defect in decision-making process, nor does it lack reasonable accommodation for the disabled.

(??) In Kawasaki City children with artificial respirator cannot use medical care support business. As scope of application is left to the city and no elementary school has accepted children with respirator, it cannot be necessarily said that the above decision is irrational discrimination lacking reasonable accommodation for the disabled.

The decision of Kawasaki City Board of Education meets requirements of Article 5.1 as mentioned before and its decision meets Kazuki’s educational needs and a special education school provides safe learning environment. Furthermore, in light of socially accepted idea, the decision is not found to be significantly improper. Accordingly, approval by Kanagawa Prefecture Board of Education is not irrational likewise.

Therefore, concerning the notice, as the decision-making process and Kazuki’s actual condition meet the requirement of Enforcement Order, there is no reason for cancelation of the notice.

4.Complaint that Kawasaki City has obligation to admit Kazuki’s going to an elementary school(?)

In addition to the mentioned above, we have considered the state of Kazuki’s disability from notification to the oral proceeding, Kazuki’s learning ability, the environment of both Higasi-Ikuta and Sugao Elementary Schools, circumstances of schools which students with artificial respirator go to,?? 数?どこに行っているか?) and support the disabled is provided at school. In the present, it neither can be clearly said that the City Board of Education should admit Kazuki’s going to elementary(?) school or it nor can be said that City Board of Education’s decision(?)deviates or abuses discretion.(なんに関する? 通知?) Accordingly, there is no reason for this mandamus action to be filed.

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