JP vs. Christian Stephanos, Esquire

DECISION
COVER SHEET
DUE PROCESS SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING

FILE NUMBER: 14458/13-14AS

RESPONDENT/SCHOOL DISTRICT (LEA): Warrior Run School District

SCHOOL DISTRICT COUNSEL: Christian Stephanos, Esquire

STUDENT: J.P.

PARENT[S]: [redacted]

COUNSEL FOR STUDENT/PARENT Phillip Drumheiser, Esquire

INITIATING PARTY: Parent/Student

DATE OF DUE PROCESS COMPLAINT: November 11, 2013

DATE OF HEARING: January 23 and 24, 2014

PLACE OF HEARING: Warrior Run School District

OPEN vs. CLOSED HEARING: Closed

STUDENT PRESENT: No

RECORD: Verbatim-Court Reporter

DECISION TYPE: Electronic

DUE DATE FOR DECISION: March 17, 2014

HEARING OFFICER: James Gerl, Certified Hearing Official

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

File No.: 14458/13-14AS

PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Prior to the hearing, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss based upon res judicata or in the alternative to accept the record from a previous hearing. By written Order, the hearing officer denied the Motion to Dismiss because the issues in this case were not the same as in a previous due process hearing contesting an independent educational evaluation at public expense. However, the Order granted the request to accept the record of the previous hearing as evidence in this due process hearing. Said Order is incorporated by reference herein.

Also prior to the hearing, Respondent issued a request for two subpoenas for the student’s employer. Because it appeared to be redundant to call two witnesses to testify to the student’s employment, particularly the application process Student had to undergo prior to the employer which was the reason for the request for the

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subpoena, the hearing officer issued one subpoena but denied the request for the second subpoena. Said ruling is incorporated herein by reference.

A prehearing conference by telephone conference call was convened for this matter on December 2, 2013. As a result of said conference, a Prehearing Conference Order was entered herein. Said Order is incorporated herein by reference.

Counsel for the Respondent filed an unopposed motion to extend the hearing officer’s decision deadline. Said motion was granted. The deadline for the hearing officer’s decision is March 17, 2014.

On January 8, 2014, counsel for the parties filed a joint prehearing memorandum. Said memorandum contains numerous stipulations of fact and other items. Said memorandum is incorporated by reference herein.

Subsequent to the hearing, both parties filed written briefs and proposed findings of fact. All proposed findings, conclusions and supporting arguments submitted by the parties have been considered. To the extent that the proposed findings, conclusions and arguments advanced by the parties are in accordance with the findings, conclusions and views stated herein, they have been accepted, and to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith, they have been rejected. Certain proposed findings and conclusions have been omitted as not relevant or as not necessary to a

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proper determination of the material issues as presented. To the extent that the testimony of various witnesses is not in accord with the findings as stated herein, it is not credited.

ISSUES PRESENTED

The issues presented in this due process hearing, as identified by the parties in the prehearing conference and as stated in the joint prehearing memorandum, are as follows:

1. Whether the school district should have found the student eligible for IDEA special education services and if yes, when the school district knew or should have known that the student was eligible.

2. Whether the school district should have found the student eligible for a Section 504 service plan and if yes, when the school district knew or should have known that the student was eligible.

3. Whether the school district discriminated against the student in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Services Act and if yes, what actions by the school district were discriminatory.

4. Whether the student is eligible for compensatory education services.

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5. Whether the school district should provide the student with a mentor to complete the final part of Student’s senior project during the 2013-2014 school year.

6. Whether the [redacted] disciplinary action should be removed from the student’s school records based on the magistrate judge’s decision that the student was not guilty of an offense.

J-P-Warrior-Run-ODRNo-14458-13-14AS

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