Civil Rights Abuses Persist in Georgia’s State-Run Special Education Schools


In the October 1, 2018, New Yorker, Rachel Aviv presents the tragic story of a family whose child is trapped and isolated in a racially segregated and horrifically dysfunctional special education system operated since 1970 by the state of Georgia as a network of special schools for disabled children: the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support or GNETS.

Aviv presents GNETS’ role over several years in the life of Seth Murrell, beginning when Seth, a four-year old who is isolated, pretty much warehoused at school, and sometimes abused as a pre-schooler trying to adjust to school. We also learn of the struggles of his family, desperate to find quality services for Seth, who move several times trying to find a better school for a child eventually diagnosed with autism. The parents discover that once Seth has been referred to GNETS, no other Georgia school will enroll him. He…

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