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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘behavioral problem’

District has continuing obligation to provide FAPE to student with aggressive and self-injurious behaviors

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Vincent ex rel. B.V. v. Kenosha Unified Sch. Dist., 59 IDELR 242 (E.D. Wis. 2012)—This student with a psychiatric disorder had been in a residential behavioral health center where she was supposed to attend school off site, but stayed at the health center on most school days due to safety concerns. As a result, the student did not receive academic instruction for approximately two years.

The IEP team determined that the student required a reevaluation to assess her current educational needs and, as such, the IEP focused on behavioral goals only. The IEP provided for two hours per week of special education homebound services, but the Team had considered a self-contained class, because of safety concerns. After a behavioral episode, the district informed the parents that it would stop providing services to the student. The District Court found that although the school had the right to consider a more restrictive setting, it could not cease to provide the student with educational services altogether. The Court also ordered compensatory services because of the student’s improper long term suspension.

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School district violated Child Find obligations by not evaluating student it assigned to alternative school due to behavioral issues.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

D.G. v. Flour Bluff Independent School District, 56 IDELR 255 (S.D. Tex. 2011):  A U.S. District Court held a school district violated its Child Find obligations when it failed to evaluate a student under the IDEA after the district assigned the student to an alternative school due to his significant behavioral issues.

The student, who was privately diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome, began to exhibit significant behavioral issues beginning in the Fall of his ninth grade school year.  As a result, the district assigned him to an alternative school and required that he have 31 “successful” days (i.e. – days without a behavioral incident) at such alternative school before returning to his regular placement.  The student was so assigned multiple times throughout the school year, but despite the repeated behavioral concerns and the fact that he received private diagnoses of ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome, the district did not evaluate the student pursuant to the IDEA until October of his tenth grade school year.

The Court determined that the student’s behavioral issues, as well as his private diagnoses, gave the school district reason to suspect he had a disability, thereby obligating the district to evaluate the student under IDEA.  By waiting approximately a year from the manifestation of the behavioral problems before conducting an evaluation, the district’s evaluation was untimely.  Accordingly, the Court awarded the student a year of compensatory education.

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