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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

School district’s failure to discuss natural setting at IEP team meeting gives parent claim for damages

Luo v. Baldwin Union Free School District, 60 IDELR 281 (E.D.N.Y. 2013): A federal district court allowed a parent of a student with an autism spectrum disorder to pursue claims for damages based on IDEA violations.  The parent claimed that he had requested his son be placed in a “natural setting environment,” but that the student’s IEP team failed to discuss or present any information about such a possibility.  The parent further alleged that he was unable to pursue his grievances through an impartial hearing due, in part, to malfeasance by school district officials.  The Court (following precedent within that Circuit) allowed the parent to assert claims for damages, brought under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, to proceed based on allegations of procedural violations of the IDEA.  The Court did note, however, that it was construing the parent’s allegations liberally at this particular stage in the proceedings.

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