Extended service

MA19E-1001283

MERCER COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Representation in settlement conference to obtain IEEs and possible OOD placement

KA is a 14-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, autism, a learning disability, and PTSD. KA has not been progressing academically, but the district has repeatedly failed to consider recommendations from evaluations or to provide him with sufficient reading support. In March 2019, KA began exhibiting school refusal and anxiety. He later revealed that he had been sexually assaulted several times on school grounds by another student. KA began exhibiting aggressive and sexually inappropriate behaviors. His therapist and psychiatrist both advised KA’s mother, MA, not to send him back to school. The district agreed to place KA on home instruction, but only until the end of the school year. In May, the district filed a due process petition, seeking consent to reevaluate KA. MA consented and several evaluations were done over the summer, but MA has not yet seen the reports. In June, MA filed her own request for a due process hearing, requesting a therapeutic out-of-district placement for KA. The district has refused to provide home instruction beginning this school year. MA is seeking representation at a settlement conference (not yet scheduled) to obtain independent evaluations, an appropriate out-of-district placement for her son, or if not, a transition plan to gradually ease KA back into school and assurances that he will be kept safe.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

JL19E-1001145

SUSSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at mediation, scheduled for October 15, to maintain OOD placement

LL is a 12-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder with many severe symptoms, including intellectual disability, language problems, hearing loss, eating issues, and growth problems. His mother, JL, fought to have him placed in an out-of-district placement. The district now claims LL is not making adequate progress academically, but JL believes he is. The district also claims that LL has been excessively absent and tardy, but this is due to his medical issues. The district has proposed an in-district program for LL to address these concerns. JL filed for due process to invoke stay put. JL is seeking an attorney to represent her at mediation (scheduled for October 29) or due process if necessary to help keep LL in his current placement.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

NH19E-1000801

MORRIS COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain OOD placement, comp. ed., and possible damages

JC is a 13-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with OCD and Tourette’s. He has attended an out-of-district placement since the 5th grade. During the heavy snowstorm on November 15, 2018, JC eloped from the school bus while it was stuck in traffic and was not found until 9:00 PM that night, four miles away. Following the incident, JC became extremely distressed and began engaging in self-injurious behavior; he has also refused to ride the bus again. JC’s mother, NH, sought help from the Child Study Team to get JC to school, but they refused to provide JC with any support. NH also requested a psychiatric evaluation, but the report was not translated into NH’s native language, Spanish, so she was not able to understand it. An IEP generated following the report contains no mention of either the bus incident or the psychiatric evaluation. NH is seeking a different out-of-district placement that does not require such a long bus ride, compensatory educational and/or counseling services if warranted, and possible compensatory damages for any viable tort action arising out of the bus elopement issue.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org