JH vs. Cornwall-Lebanon School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Student’s Name: J.H.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 2975-11-12-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Cornwall-Lebanon School District 105 East Evergreen Road Lebanon, PA 17042-7595

Representative:

Ann Martin, Esquire
Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess, LLP 41 East Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17602

Mark W. Walz, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18601

Dates of Hearing: May 16, 2012; July 17, 2012; July 20, 2012; August 22, 2012

Record Closed: September 6, 2012

Date of Decision: September 15, 2012

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student named in the title page of this decision (Student) is an eligible resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District), pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). Student presently receives

instruction in the home, and previously attended a District elementary school. (NT 8-10.)
The Student’s Parents, identified in the title page of this decision, requested due process under the IDEA, alleging that the District provided an inappropriate placement and program, not in the least restrictive environment, failed to timely evaluate after Parents’ request, and retaliated against the Parents for their advocacy on behalf of Student, in violation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504). The District asserts that it has provided appropriate services and complied with the procedural requirements of the IDEA. It

denies engaging in retaliation prohibited by section 504.
The hearing was completed in four sessions. I conclude that the District failed to

provide Student with a FAPE in the least restrictive environment, in violation of the IDEA. I deny all other claims and order appropriate relief.

ISSUES

  1. From January 17, 2012 to August 22, 20121, did the District offer and provide to Student an appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment?
  2. Did the District deprive Student of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) by failing to evaluate Student within the time required by law subsequent to Parents’ request?
  1. Did the District fail to provide a FAPE to Student by reassigning the one to one educational aide identified and requested by Parents?
  2. Did the District discriminate against Student or Parents contrary to section 504 by retaliating against them by reassigning the one to one educational aide identified and requested by Parents?
  3. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to Student for all or any part of the period April 1, 2012 to August 22, 20122?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide a comprehensive educational re- evaluation, including a functional behavioral assessment, by an independent, qualified behavior expert mutually agreeable to the parties; plan a program of special education services for Student in consultation with the independent expert; provide a positive behavior support plan; provide the Parents’ identified and requested one to one educational aide to accompany Student in any placement provided prospectively; and train its assigned staff to implement the educational program in the neighborhood school?
J-H-Cornwall-Lebanon-ODRNo-2975-11-12-KE

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