ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION
Negotiation with district regarding evaluations, comp. ed, and placement
LM is a 6-yr-old Kindergartener who is classified for special education under the category of Emotionally Disturbed and placed in a Behavioral Disabilities Program. In May 2017, the school district suspended LM for “being aggressive,” without a manifestation determination hearing, and in violation of a recently-enacted state law placing limits on discipline for students in second grade or younger, pending a psychiatric clearance. The psychiatrist recommended that LM be placed on temporary home instruction until an out-of-district placement could be found for her. The district has excluded LM until the end of the academy year (including ESY services), but did not begin providing home instruction until June 7th. As a result, LM’s mother, AB, has had to miss work and, after almost losing her job, hire a full-time babysitter in order to remain employed. AB requested an out-of-district placement, as per the psychiatrist’s recommendation, but the district denied her request. AB is seeking an attorney to advocate for independent evaluations including an FBA, compensatory educational and behavioral services for the lack of home instruction and lack of appropriate behavioral services, and a therapeutic out-of-district placement.
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