Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: M.P.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: May 1, 2013 May 3, 2013
ODR Case # 13715-1213KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent
Millcreek Township School District 3740 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16506
Representative: Pro Se
Jennifer Gornall, Esq. Knox McLaughlin, et. al. 120 West 10th Street Erie, PA 16501
Date Record Closed: May 3, 2013
Date of Decision: May 17, 2013
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
[Student] (“student”) is a [late teenaged] student residing in the Millcreek Township School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”)1. The District has imposed significant discipline against the student, amounting to an expulsion from school, based on a behavioral incident. The parent opposes the expulsion.
Parent filed a complaint on April 5, 2013 after the finding of a manifestation determination review that the behavioral incident was not a result of the student’s disability under the IDEA. Parent disagreed and sought to have the determination overturned.2
Because parent’s complaint regards a disciplinary change in placement, this decision is on an expedited timeline. (34 C.F.R. §300.532(c); 22 PA CODE §14.162(q)(4). The hearing was conducted in two sessions on May 1 and May 3, 2013. The decision is due within ten school days of the hearing. (34 C.F.R.§300.532(c)(2)). The 10-school day timeline expired on May 17, 2013. (Hearing Officer Exhibit [“HO”]-4).
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parent regarding the result of the manifestation determination review.
Was the outcome of the manifestation determination process correct in finding that the student’s behavior was not
a manifestation of the student’s disability?