SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: D. J.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 18869-16-17KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency
Pocono Mountain School District 135 Pocono Mountain School Road Swiftwater, PA 18370
Parent Attorney None
Glenna M. Hazeltine, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC
One West Broad Street, Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018
Dates of Hearing: March 3, 2017 and March 24, 2017
Date of Decision: April 7, 2017
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
The student (hereafter Student)2 is a mid-teenaged student in the Pocono Mountain School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).3 As relates to this decision, the District filed a Complaint on March 6, 2017 that reflected the parties’ agreement to address a new disciplinary issue, a 45-day alternative placement, as a different but related case proceeded to hearing. Due to the timing of the new issue and the hearing sessions, the matters were consolidated; two hearing sessions convened with evidence presented on the instant disciplinary Complaint.4
For the reasons that follow, the District’s 45-day alternative placement will be affirmed but the related manifestation determination will be reversed.
Whether the District’s manifestation determination regarding weapons offenses that led to the 45-day alternative education setting (AES) placement was appropriate?