LV vs. Moon Township Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: L.V.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: December 3, 2012

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 13244-1213KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Moon Township Area School District 8353 University Boulevard
Moon Township, PA 15108

Representative:

Jonathan Steele, Esquire Charles Steele, Esquire
428 Forbes Avenue / Suite 900 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Russell Lucas, Esquire Michael Brungo, Esquire 3301 McCrady Road Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Date Record Closed: December 3, 2012

Date of Decision: December 12, 2012

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Student] (hereinafter “student”)1 is [pre-teenaged] student who attends the Moon Township Area School District (“District”). The student has not been identified as a student with a disability under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”) but, pending the outcome of an ongoing comprehensive evaluation process, is thought to be eligible.2 The dispute centers on whether the District exceeded its statutory authority to remove the student for 45 school days for a behavior incident that led to a statutorily-defined “serious bodily injury”.

The District contends that it acted appropriately under its statutory authority to remove the student unilaterally to a private placement when the student, in the midst of a classroom behavior incident, [engaged in a behavior] resulting in a serious bodily injury. The student’s parents counter that the [redacted] wound does not rise to the level of a serious bodily injury. As such, parents argue that the District exceeded its statutory authority to remove the student unilaterally and that the student should be returned to the District.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parents and student.

ISSUES

Did the District exceed its authority
in unilaterally removing the student from the District
as the result of a behavior incident that led to a serious bodily injury?

L-V-Moon-Township-Area-ODRNo-13244-1213KE

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