BC vs. Camp Hill School District

This is a redacted version of the original decision. Select details have been removed from the
decision to preserve anonymity of the student. The redactions do not affect the substance of
the document.

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: B.C.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:
12/20/13, 12/30/13, 1/16/14, 2/6/14, 2/19/14, 2/20/14, 5/5/14

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File No. 14321-1314AS

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s]

Camp Hill School District 2627 Chestnut Street Camp Hill, PA 17011

Representative:

None

Sharon M. O’Donnell, Esquire Marshall Dennehy Warner Coleman and Goggin, P.C.
100 Corporate Center Drive, Ste. 101 Camp Hill, PA 17011

Date Record Closed: May 23, 2014

Date of Decision: June 4, 2014

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child in this matter (hereafter Student)1 is an elementary school-aged student in the Camp Hill School District (hereafter District) who has been identified as a protected handicapped student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)2 and the federal and state regulations implementing that Act.3 In September 2013, Student’s Parents4 filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)5 as well as Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).6

The case proceeded to a due process hearing which convened over seven sessions,7 at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to properly identify Student as eligible under the IDEA and, in addition, failed to provide Student with FAPE. They also claimed that the District discriminated and retaliated against Student on the basis of Student’s disability. The District maintained that its educational program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student; it also denied the assertions of discrimination and retaliation.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents on a portion of their claims, and in favor of the District on other claims.

1 In the interest of confidentiality and privacy, Student’s name and gender, and other potentially identifying characteristics, are not used in the body of this decision to the extent possible.
2 29 U.S.C. § 794.
3 34 C.F.R. §§ 104.1 – 104.61; 2 Pa. Code §§ 15.1 – 15.11.

4 The term “Parents” refers to Student’s biological mother and step-father. Student’s biological father did not participate in this proceeding.
5 20 U.S.C. §§ 1401 et seq.
6 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.

7 This hearing was delayed for a variety of unavoidable reasons, including the medical condition of one of the Parents, a number of weather-related delays and cancellations, and Student’s health. Several of the hearing sessions were abbreviated for similar reasons. In addition, the Parents agreed to their remote participation in several of the sessions to avoid further cancellations. The parties’ efforts to conclude this hearing in a timely manner are noted and appreciated, despite the length of time it has taken to complete the record.

 

ISSUES

  1. Whether the District failed to properly identify Student as eligible for special education under the IDEA;
  2. Whether the District failed to provide appropriate educational and related services to Student from September 2011 forward;
  3. If the District failed to provide appropriate educational and related services to Student, is Student entitled to compensatory education;
  4. If the District failed to provide appropriate educational and related services to Student, are Student and the Parents entitled to reimbursement for therapy obtained privately;
  5. If the District failed to properly identify Student as eligible for special education, should the District be ordered to so identify Student and develop an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Student; and
  6. Whether the District discriminated and retaliated against Student in violation of Section 504 and the ADA.
B-C-Camp-Hill-ODRNo-14321-1314AS

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