Calvary Church Settles Lawsuit with Families Involving Children with Special Needs

The megachurch Calvary Church in south Charlotte is promising changes after settling a lawsuit involving children who have special needs.

The children’s families dismissed the lawsuit against Calvary Wednesday.

Five families claim Calvary Church denied their children care, kicking them out of the school because of their disabilities, including diabetes and ADHD.

After more than two years of fighting Charlotte’s megachurch in court, attorneys for those families said they reached a settlement with the church.

“One thing that was unique about this case is, it dealt with what rights do children with disabilities have in a private church setting,” attorney Josh Van Kampen said.

On Wednesday, both sides released a joint statement.

In it, Calvary Church denies the families’ accusations but “acknowledges the importance of continually improving policies to better serve children with disabilities.”

Calvary Church has agreed to hire a registered nurse and have training for staff, and allow occupational therapists and other medical professionals access to the classroom.

Van Kampen called the case one of the hardest his firm has handled and said he hopes it sets a precedent.

“There is certainly a hope there are lessons learned from other church and religious education providers to understand that disabled children have rights,” Van Kampen said.

Attorneys wouldn’t say if the families received money from Calvary Church as part of the settlement.

The joint statement says the changes the church is making are part of the overall settlement.

Channel 9 learned there were 10 witness families who had similar allegations, but they could not join the lawsuit because of the three-year statute of limitations.