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.
Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: C. S. Date of Birth: [redacted]
Date of Hearing: October 5, 2011
ODR Case # 2231-11-12-KE
Parties to the Hearing: [Parent]
Chester Upland School District 1720 Melrose Avenue
Chester, PA 19013
Dean Beer, Esq. McAndrews Law Office 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312
Leo Hackett, Esq.
102 Chesley Drive/Suite 1A Media, PA 19063
Date Record Closed: November 4, 2011
Date of Decision: November 15, 2011
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (“student”) is a late teen-aged student residing in the Chester Upland School District (“District”). The student and parent claim that the student is a student with a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (specifically under Section 504 of that statute, hence the follow-on reference to this section as “Section 504”).1 Furthermore, the student and parent assert that the District has failed in its Section 504 obligation to provide the student with a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) and that the District has violated the anti-discrimination provisions of Section 504. Student and parent seek compensatory education as a result of these alleged deprivations.
The District counters that the student does not qualify as a student with a disability under Section 504. To the extent that the student is a student with a disability, the District asserts alternatively that it has not denied the student a FAPE to the student and has met its obligations Section 504.
Finally, the District argues that, because the student had reached age 18 at the time the complaint was filed, parent did not have standing to bring a complaint for alleged deprivations under Section 504.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the student and parent on the issue of standing. I find in favor of the District, however, on the issue of the student’s qualification under Section 504.
Is there an issue of standing regarding the student and student’s parent to bring a claim for allege violations of Section 504?
Is the student a student with a disability under the terms of Section 504?
If so, has the student been denied a FAPE Section 504?
If so, has the student, on the basis of handicap, been excluded from participation in, been denied the benefits of, or otherwise been subjected to, discrimination on the part of the District under the terms of Section 504?
If the answer to either or both of questions #2 and/or #3 is in the affirmative, is compensatory education owed to the student?