The Google app that lets students learn vocabulary and spell words for kindergarten has been removed from the App Store.
The move comes as the company continues to grapple with a backlash from parents and educators, as well as a string of lawsuits.
“We’ve been removing SpellKinders from the Play Store in the wake of our ongoing litigation with parents and teachers,” the company wrote in a blog post published on Monday.
“We are taking steps to make sure that our products are available on other platforms as well, but SpellKenders are no longer in the AppStore.”
A statement from Google did not provide any additional details about the removal, but it is believed to be related to a lawsuit the company has filed against a parent who challenged the app’s inclusion in a school resource guide.
In May, a judge in Massachusetts ruled that SpellKender was a violation of Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination law, as it discriminated against students of different ethnicities, and barred the app from operating in the state.
Google said in a statement that it has been removing the app since September, but that it will continue to provide it for children and families.
The app was also removed from Apple’s App Store, but Google said that the company is working on an update to remove the app.
“The App Store continues to have a strong track record for helping kids learn, but we’re working with Apple to bring this app back,” a Google spokesperson said.
“It’s important to note that Spellkinder is not currently available on Apple’s platform.”
The removal comes at a time when parents, educators and even lawmakers are increasingly concerned about the way in which the tech giant has implemented its new education initiative, and whether the app is adequately protecting students from learning disabilities.
In July, a federal judge ruled in favor of a group of parents and school districts that sued to block SpellKiner from being included in a district’s education resource guide, calling the app “an unqualified substitute for the real curriculum.”
While the app does provide additional vocabulary, it does not teach students the alphabet, and teachers can’t use it to teach spelling, grammar and punctuation.
The court ruling, however, did not address the fact that many students in the US do not have access to computers, a key difference between the App and the traditional school resource guides.
In September, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, challenging Google’s ban on SpellKers app from schools in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey and Washington state.
The US Department of Education argued that Spell Kender violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which allows for certain school districts to provide alternative learning opportunities.