Monday, February 25, 2013

Bullying can amount to denial of FAPE under 504

In some instances, students with disabilities who are bullied are being denied FAPE under 504.  School disricts deny FAPE to students with disabilties who are bullied when the school district, or charter school, is deliberately indifferent to disability-based bullying.
  While mere occasional light teasing of a student with a disability might not warrant a response from the school to disability-based harassment, ongoing teasing, especially when accompanied by acts of physical harassment, is likely severe enough to trigger a school district's / charter school's duty to respond under Section 504.  In a recent case, a student with Asperger syndrome was allegedly verbally teased and physically harassed on an ongoing basis by his high school classmates.  Testimony that the student reacted to the harassment by engaging in self-destructive behavior helped demonstrate that the harassment was severe enough to trigger an investigation and response by the district.

To establish discrimination for disability-based bullying, a parent must show:
(1) the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive that it altered the condition of the student's education and created an abusive educational environment;
(2) the school district, or charter school, knew about the harassment; and
(3) the school district, or charter school, was deliberately indifferent.

Ongoing bullying may be sufficient to demonstrate that the harassment is severe and denies the studentqual access to education.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

News story: Seclusion room at Deer Valley Unified School District

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Upcoming training: SPECIAL EDUCATION - RESOLVING DISPUTES

Lori Kirsch-Goodwin & Hope Kirsch will be presenting a national seminar to school officials and attorneys on February 27, 2013:
Special Education Law: Resolving Disputes in IEPs
Who Should Attend
This program is designed for attorneys. It may also benefit school professionals, special education teachers, school principals and superintendents.

Course Content
  • When to File for Due Process vs. State Complaint vs. OCR Complaint
  • Timeline for Filing DP, and Deadlines in DP
  • Content of DP Complaints
  • Resolution vs. Mediation of a DP Complaint
  • Contents of a Legally Binding Mediation Agreement or Settlement Agreement
  • How to Prepare for a DP Hearing
  • Witnesses and Exhibits
  • Options at Hearing - Open vs. Closed, Briefing (Oral or Written Closing Arguments)

Course content:
  • When to File for Due Process vs. State Complaint vs. OCR Complaint
  • Timeline for Filing DP, and Deadlines in DP
  • Content of DP Complaints
  • Resolution vs. Mediation of a DP Complaint
  • Contents of a Legally Binding Mediation Agreement or Settlement Agreement
  • How to Prepare for a DP Hearing
  • Witnesses and Exhibits
  • Options at Hearing - Open vs. Closed, Briefing (Oral or Written Closing Arguments)
  • Who Should Attend
    This program is designed for attorneys. It may also benefit school professionals, special education teachers, school principals and superintendents.

    Course Content
    • When to File for Due Process vs. State Complaint vs. OCR Complaint
    • Timeline for Filing DP, and Deadlines in DP
    • Content of DP Complaints
    • Resolution vs. Mediation of a DP Complaint
    • Contents of a Legally Binding Mediation Agreement or Settlement Agreement
    • How to Prepare for a DP Hearing
    • Witnesses and Exhibits
    • Options at Hearing - Open vs. Closed, Briefing (Oral or Written Closing Arguments)

    Who Should Attend
    This program is designed for attorneys. It may also benefit school professionals, special education teachers, school principals and superintendents.

    Course Content
    • When to File for Due Process vs. State Complaint vs. OCR Complaint
    • Timeline for Filing DP, and Deadlines in DP
    • Content of DP Complaints
    • Resolution vs. Mediation of a DP Complaint
    • Contents of a Legally Binding Mediation Agreement or Settlement Agreement
    • How to Prepare for a DP Hearing
    • Witnesses and Exhibits
    • Options at Hearing - Open vs. Closed, Briefing (Oral or Written Closing Arguments)

    For more information and to sign up:
    http://www.nbi-sems.com/SemTeleDetails.aspx/Special-Education-Law-Resolving-Disputes-in-IEPs/Teleconference/R-62039ER%7C?NavigationDataSource1=Rpp:25,Nrc:id-3-dynrank-disabled,Nra:pEventDate%2BpEventStartTime%2BStates%2BCredits%2BScope+of+Content%2BpLocationCity%2BpDescription%2BpProductId%2BpProductDescription%2BProductCode+(HIDDEN)%2BpAdditionalFormats%2BDivision,N:304-447

    News article reporting testimony on seclusion bill at House of Representatives

    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/lawmaker-make-schools-get-consent-to-use-isolation-rooms/article_5d2ed892-8d08-5347-93b2-1998321de8c7.html

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Guardianship Workshop - Feb. 24, 2013

    Sunday February 24, 2013 from 1 - 3 p.m.
    Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus
    12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ
    Guardianship Workshop

    Learn about guardianship, conservatorship and powers of attorney in plain English—when to think about these issues, why the topics might be important and how to proceed.  When a person turns 18, they are legal adults regardless of his/her actual ability to make decisions regarding health care, housing and education.  Parents of children with special needs often need to file for guardianship in order to ensure on-going communication with doctors, educators and others.  This program will focus on the process of applying for and obtaining guardianship, when it is needed, how it differs from a conservatorship or when a Power of Attorney might be sufficient.

    This two hour workshop with forms and instructions will include a Q & A opportunity.  Attorneys will be available to provide one-on-one practical information and insight into the process. 

    This program is sponsored by the Council for Jews with Special Needs and Jewish Legal Aid, a Start Me Up! project.
    Pre-registration is recommended.  Participants who pre-register are guaranteed to receive a 42 page Legal Options Manual;  a limited number of additional copies may be available to walk-in participants.  Pre-register at info@cjsn.org or 480-629-5343.

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Seclusion Bill passes in AZ House

    HB 2476 proposing that school districts be required to provide parental notification for students placed in seclusion rooms passed in the House of Representatives today, February 11, 2013.  While the Arizona legislators on the Education Committee in the House all agreed that seclusion rooms need to be gone forever, until that time, this piece of legislation is a step in the right direction, requiring parental notifcation before or immediately after their child is placed in seclusion/confinement.  It is a step in the right direction because it creates a legislative pronouncement on the issue of seclusion, but there is a lot of work ahead.  Kudos to Representative Kelly Townsend for introducing this bill!  Please show your support by emailing her at ktownsend@azleg.gov.
    KGK thanks Hope Kirsch for giving testimony before the Education Committee.

     

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    2013 Autism Conference for Parents & Professionals

    2013 Autism Conference for Parents & Professionals, hosted by Arizona Austism United (ASA United), is Friday, February 8 & Saturday, February 9, 2013.
    The objective of the conference is to provide practical information parents and providers can use tomorrow, while having a great time and making new connections today. This year’s conference will feature renowned experts and engaging speakers from around the country, autism-focused special activities, and more!
    Register on-line at:
    https://www.regonline.com/custImages/357698/2013ConferenceFlyer_JPEG.pdf
    KGK's Hope Kirsch will be speaking Saturday, discussing special education law.