Friends of Fernald have filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, claiming that UCLA's decision to close the school violates the civil rights of its learning-handicapped students.
Attorney Harold Friedman filed the complaint. It states that by closing the 65-year-old school, UCLA "is discriminating against handicapped children whom Fernald is helping to bring into the mainstream of American life."
UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young has said he will close the school June 1 so research funds can be diverted to the university for the study of childhood disabilities. He said other schools are available to serve children with learning handicaps.
Parents, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the University of California Board of Regents to reverse Young's decision, argue that it will be traumatic for children with learning problems to change schools.