Special Education

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

KW19E-1000486

UNION COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation at IEP meeting; IHP; representation in retaliation action

KC is a 15-year-old 9th-grader who has cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, and asthma, which makes him prone to upper respiratory infections. He has significant developmental delays and is dependent on a feeding tube. For years, the school bus has picked KC up last in the morning due to a complex and time-consuming morning routine including use of a feeding pump and feeding tube. However, KC's pick-up schedule has recently changed; the district claims it will affect other students and the bus schedules are up to the transportation company. The district finally agreed to speak with KC’s pediatrician, with KW’s consent, to verify his medical needs, but KW has not heard back from anyone since she signed the consent form over a month ago. KW is seeking to ensure that the district will either pick KC up last on the bus or provide him with his own transportation.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

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

DH19E-1000892

BERGEN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Negotiation with district to address HIB, obtain transportation and ESY, and amend IEP

JJ is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Since October 2018, he has been bullied because of his race and his disability by one particular student in the class. JJ’s mother, DH, has reported three incidents to the principal, but nothing has been done. In addition, the district has refused to provide transportation to JJ, despite the fact that DH provided a doctor’s note indicating that JJ’s asthma is exacerbated by having to walk to school in temperatures below 40 and above 80 degrees. The district also refused to provide JJ with ESY, instead recommending that DH send him to an expensive recreation camp. DH is seeking representation to address the bullying issues, obtain transportation and ESY for her son, and amend his IEP as appropriate.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

SO19E-1000741

ATLANTIC COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with school district to obtain appropriate behavioral supports

TG is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has behavioral issues. He is placed in an out-of-district placement. There have been two incidents recently in which TG has been improperly restrained, one on the bus with an aide and the other in school in which a security guard grabbed the back of TG’s neck. Both incidents were captured on video but the school denied the request of TG’s mother, SO, to see the videos. SO believes the school does not have a good plan in place to help TG deescalate. She is seeking assistance in ensuring that her son is provided with appropriate behavioral supports.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

SB19E-1000724

MONMOUTH COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain out-of-district placement

LB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has a number of diagnoses including autism, anxiety, severe reflux, emotional-behavioral challenges, asthma, severe allergies, cardiac issues, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia, and partial facial paralysis. He is frequently hospitalized for gastrointestinal and other issues. He uses an adaptive stroller and an invasive feeding tube at all times, and his IEP provides for a one-to-one aide and one-to-one nurse at school and on the bus. LB’s mother, SB, does not believe an in-district placement can meet her son’s needs. He has not received any home instruction or services since March 2019, when he was hospitalized for a broken feeding tube. On October 1, the district filed for emergent relief seeking an order compelling SB to release LB’s medical information to the district by any current or prospective treating provider. SB is seeking an attorney to represent her in the emergent relief action and to advocate for out-of-district placement which meets LB’s medical, developmental, educational, behavioral, and other needs.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW