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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Expulsion’

Parent awarded reimbursement for private tuition after student expulsion.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Fisher v. Friendship Public Charter School, 58 IDELR 287 (D.D.C. 2012):  A federal district court held that a public charter school denied a student with ADHD a free appropriate public education when it expelled the student for drug use, but failed to provide sufficient services in an interim setting following the expulsion.

The student arrived at school under the influence of marijuana, which resulted in his expulsion.  The parent did not dispute that such drug use was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, and the expulsion was therefore proper.  However, the school failed to offer any appropriate interim educational placement in order to permit the student to progress toward meeting the goals in his IEP.  All the school offered was to provide the specialized instruction and counseling specified on the student’s IEP and a list of phone numbers for the parent to call in order to seek a new placement.

Instead of using the school’s numbers, the parent enrolled the student in a private school.  However, the Court noted that it was not the parent’s responsibility to find the student an interim setting.  Since the school failed to provide an interim alternative educational curriculum, and also failed to contest the appropriateness of the private school, the parent was entitled to reimbursement.

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School district ran afoul with its obligation under Section 504 and the ADA when it failed to evaluate student diagnosed with diabetes

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Isle of Wight County (VA) Public Schools, 56 IDELR 111 (OCR. 2010): The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that the school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to evaluate a student with Type 1 diabetes for potential eligibility.  The school district had erroneously claimed it had no obligation to evaluate student due to the fact that the student’s family and/or medical caregivers never requested an evaluation.  As OCR pointed out, it is the responsibility of a school district (not a parent) to identify and evaluate any student who is believed to be a student with a disability.  Moreover, OCR stated that the school district should have conducted a manifestation meeting in order to determine whether or not a behavior resulting in a suspension and recommendation for expulsion (a threat of violence upon a teacher) was a manifestation of the student’s disability.  Although the student did not have a 504 Plan at the time of the behavior, the school district had reason to believe that he was disabled.  There was evidence that the student’s blood sugar was high at the time of the incident, and the school district never considered whether this contributed to the student’s behavior.

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