1. The parties to this Settlement Agreement (Agreement) are the United States of America and Lexington Chinese School (LCS), located in Belmont, Massachusetts.
  2. This matter was initiated by USAO Complaint No. 2015V00277 / DJ No. 202-36-270, which was a complaint filed with the United States Department of Justice (the United States) against LCS alleging disability discrimination.


  1. The complainant, Ms. H., is the mother of A.L and B.L, who are siblings who attended LCS from 2007-2013. A.L. is currently 14 years-old and diagnosed with autism. B.L. is currently 15 years-old and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 
  2. LCS is a private, non-profit, all volunteer-run school that provides Chinese language instruction and other extracurricular activities to approximately 400 students for three hours per week on Sundays.  No staff is on site other than for five hours on Sundays.  LCS is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 because it is a place of education, and is a public accommodation under 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 because it is a private entity that leases or operates a place of public accommodation.  Accordingly, LCS is a place of public accommodation subject to the requirements of Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36.
  3. The United States alleges that, in the 2012-2013 school year, LCS failed to provide reasonable modifications to A.L. and B.L. in their Chinese language class.  Ultimately, LCS did not allow the students to enroll in LCS the following year.  LCS denies that it violated Title III of the ADA or any other state or federal law and maintains that it did provide A.L. and B.L. with reasonable modifications.


  1. General Obligations.  LCS agrees that it will comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 12182 of the ADA and its implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. Part 36.  The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.  42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. § 36.201.
  2. The LCS principal will be responsible for ensuring that the policies and procedures set forth in paragraphs 8-11 below are complied with and implemented.
  3. Disability Nondiscrimination Policy.  Within thirty (30) days of the Effective Date of this Agreement, LCS shall submit the following to the United States, for review and approval:
    1. A disability nondiscrimination policy, provided in English and Chinese, that will expressly provide the following:
      1. LCS does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability; and
      2. LCS does not impose or apply eligibility criteria that screens out or tends to screen out individuals with disabilities, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 36.301; and
      3. Individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the LCS' goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations; and
      4. LCS will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices and procedures upon request to accommodate students who have been identified by their parents or guardians as disabled and when reasonable modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.302, provided the reasonable modifications requested will not impose an undue burden or fundamentally alter LCS's program; and
    2. A description of the process, provided in English and Chinese, that LCS will use to provide reasonable modifications and auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities, as required under Title III of the ADA.
      1. After a student is accepted to LCS, a parent/guardian shall have the opportunity to notify LCS that a student has a disability, and to request a reasonable modification.
      2. Upon receipt of a request for a reasonable modification, LCS will conduct an individualized inquiry that includes consideration of the student's specific circumstances and the purpose of the rule, policy, or practice at issue, to decide whether to allow the modification. LCS will allow a modification unless the modification is unreasonable or would fundamentally alter an essential aspect of LCS's program.
      3. LCS will provide the individual requesting the modification with written notice of their decision within three Sundays of the request. Although LCS will respond appropriately and in a reasonable amount of time to a request for a reasonable modification regardless of when it is received, students and their families are strongly encouraged to make such requests at least five (5) weeks prior to the start of the school year.
      4. LCS is not a public school, and thus not required to comply with Child Find requirements to locate, identify, and evaluate all students with disabilities (20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(3)), nor is it subject to any of the other requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.).
  4. Training.  Within (10) business days of approval of the policy by the United States, and annually at the start of every school year for at least the Term of this Settlement Agreement, LCS will distribute a copy of the Disability Nondiscrimination Policy to every teacher, or ensure that the policy is made available in any teacher handbook or teacher training materials.
  5. LCS will facilitate the training of the teacher(s) who will be teaching any student enrolled at LCS who has been identified by his or her parent as having a disability and who will be provided a reasonable modification pursuant to paragraph 8.b. to provide the teacher with a general overview of the disability and how to provide the reasonable modification.  This training shall be given by the parent-guardian of the student, or by a qualified person identified by or agreed upon by the parent/guardian. 
  6. Reporting.  For the term of this Agreement, LCS will submit to the United States on an annual basis a report that lists the students who have been identified by their parents or guardian requiring a reasonable modification, and the reasonable modifications provided to those students.


  1. Within twenty-one (21) days of LCS’ receipt of the completed release attached hereto as Attachment A, LCS agrees to pay and deliver seven thousand dollars ($7,000) in full and final settlement of all claims to the individual identified in the United States’ letter, dated January 20, 2016, as Ms. H. by check made payable to Ms. H. in their full legal names as identified in the completed version of Attachment A.  The check should be sent by certified or overnight mail to the address provided by the United States. A copy of the check and the accompanying letter shall be sent to counsel for the United States.


  1. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  2. The duration of this Agreement will be two (2) years from the Effective Date.
  3. This Agreement and the Release signed by Mr. L. and Mrs. H., individually and on behalf of their minor children, A.L. and B.L., fully and finally resolve USAO Complaint No. 2015V00277 / DJ No. 202-36-270, but are not intended to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law that is not specifically addressed in this Agreement.
  4. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will raise its concerns with LCS and the parties will attempt to resolve the concerns in good faith. The United States will give LCS thirty (30) days from the date it notifies LCS of any breach of this Agreement to cure that breach, before instituting any court action. If the parties are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution within that period, the United States may bring a civil action in federal district court to enforce this Agreement or Title III, and may in such action seek any relief available under law.

  5. All notices, reports, or other such documents required by this Agreement shall be sent by e-mail and U.S. priority mail to the following address:

    Michelle Leung
    Assistant U.S. Attorney
    Moakley Federal Courthouse
    1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
    Boston, MA 02210

    Any and all notices to LCS required by this Agreement shall be sent by e-mail and U.S. priority mail to the following address:

    Chia-Lun Jack Tsai, Principal
    Lexington Chinese School
    c/o Belmont High School
    221 Concord Ave
    Belmont, MA 02478

    At the end of the term of this volunteer principal, LCS will notify the United States at the address above of his successor.

  6. During the term of this Agreement, LCS will notify the United States of any written complaint, lawsuit, charge, or grievance alleging discrimination by LCS on the basis of disability. Such notification must be provided in writing within fifteen (15) days of when LCS has received written notice of the allegation and will include at a minimum, the nature of the allegation, the name of the individual bringing the allegation, and any documentation possessed by LCS relevant to the allegation.
  7. In consideration for the terms set forth above, the United States will not institute a civil action alleging violations of the ADA based on USAO Complaint No. 2015V00277 / DJ No. 202-36-270, except as provided in paragraph 16, above.
  8. Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any of its provisions shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other provisions of the Agreement.
  9. If any term of this Agreement is determined by any court to be unenforceable, the other terms of this Agreement shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect.
  10. This Agreement is not intended to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law that is not specifically addressed in this Agreement and does not affect LCS’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  11. This Agreement shall be binding on LCS and its agents. In the event LCS seeks to transfer or assign all or part of its interest in LCS, and the successor or assignee intends to carryi on the same or similar activity, LCS shall obtain the written assent of the successor or assignee to assume any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
  12. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and LCS on the matters raised in the Agreement and no other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written agreement, including its attachments, shall be enforceable.
  13. A signatory to this document in a representative capacity for either party represents that he or she is authorized to bind that party to this Agreement.
  14. LCS will not retaliate against, or coerce in any way any person trying to exercise the rights of any person under this Agreement.




Chia-Lun Jack Tsai
Principal for 2015-2016 School Year
Lexington Chinese School







Doris R. MacKenzie Ehrens
Counsel for Lexington Chinese School
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 479-5000

United States Attorney

Jennifer A. Serafyn, Chief
Michelle Leung, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Civil Rights Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Moakley Federal Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 748-3626