Katrina Feldkamp

Katrina Feldkamp

  • Hosted by Bronx Legal Services
  • Sponsored by The Arnold & Porter Foundation
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Katrina protected the rights of Bronx students with childhood trauma and behavioral and emotional health challenges through direct representation in discipline and special education hearings, medical-legal partnerships, and community-based advocacy and education.

Bronx students with disabilities, including those with behavioral and emotional health challenges rooted in childhood trauma, are disproportionately subject to harsh discipline practices. Though they represent only 20.2% of the student population, students with disabilities account for over 40% of students suspended after law enforcement contact, students suspended more than once, and students transported from school to psychiatric emergency rooms. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and State and City regulations protect these students’ rights to an inclusive education environment and appropriate interventions during behavioral crises. However, advocacy under these laws involves long-term engagement with government stakeholders and complex individual hearings that often require legal counsel.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship period, Katrina:

  • Filed and is led negotiations on a federal lawsuit, with the support of Arnold & Porter, against the New York City Department of Education alleging Title IX and federal disability law claims on behalf of four students who were sexually assaulted in New York City schools and experienced trauma-related disabilities as a result.
  • Launched the Healing-Centered Schools Working Group, a group of parents, students, educators, advocates, and providers who developed and published the Community Roadmap to Bring Healing-Centered Schools to the Bronx. The New York City Department of Education has adopted recommendations included in the Roadmap.
  • Facilitated medical-legal partnerships with Vibrant Emotional Health and Lincoln Hospital’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Next Steps

Katrina has stayed on at Bronx Legal Services as a staff attorney. She continues representing students through her medical-legal partnerships, and continues to expand her community advocacy efforts.


DOE Failed To Protect Students From Sexual Assaults, Lawsuit Alleges

Facing Lawsuits, NYC Retools Sexual Harassment Policies For Schools

Community Roadmap to Bring Healing-Centered Schools to the Bronx

If you deny a person or a community access to education, you deny them a voice and the resources to advocate for themselves, their rights, and a society that recognizes their dignity.

Katrina Feldkamp /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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