MR vs. Philadelphia School District

DECISION

Due Process Hearing for MR

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

File Number: 8474/07-08/KE

Dates of Hearings:
April 2, 2008, April 24, 2008, September 17, 2008, October 16, 2008

OPEN HEARING

Parties:

Philadelphia School District 440 North Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19130

Ms.

Representatives:
Mimi Rose, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel Philadelphia School District
440 North Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130

Robert Gidding, Esq.
Two Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Date Transcript/Exhibits Received: October 17, 2008

Date of Decision: October 21, 2008

Hearing Officer: Ronald Fischman, Ed.D

BACKGROUND

Student, now a teen age resident of the Philadelphia School District, was identified in 2004 as a special education student with an Other Health Impairment, an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Student attended grade 8 at the [redacted] Middle School until late November, 2007. Since the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, Student engaged in various inappropriate behaviors despite repeated, attempted interventions of school personnel such as meetings with Student and Student’s parent and revisions in Student’s behavioral plans.

On November 29, 2007, Student was found by a school police officer roaming the halls of the school with a black magic marker in Student’s hand. In running from the police officer, Student encountered the school’s principal and punched him rather than follow the principal’s direction to go with him to his office. Student’s behavior led to a Manifestation Determination Hearing to determine if the student’s behaviors were a result of Student’s Other Health Impairment, an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The Manifestation Determination Hearing found that the student’s manifested behaviors were not the result of Student’s Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and recommended a more restrictive educational setting in a special education program in a remedial disciplinary school.

The parent contends that the student’s behavior is, indeed, a manifestation of Student’s Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and that the student has repeatedly demonstrated oppositional behaviors such as difficulty with school authority and difficulty in remaining in Student’s assigned classroom. The parent maintains that such behaviors are repeatedly well documented by the School District over a period of time. The parent asserts that the School District has created minimally effective behavioral plans for the student for at least the past four school years. Yet, the student continued to act in an oppositional and impulsive manner, not in a premeditated manner, consistent with Student’s special education classification, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Thus, the parent asserts that the incident of November 29, 2007 was a manifestation of the student’s disability.

ISSUES

  1. Are the student’s inappropriate and oppositional behaviors in school a direct manifestation of Student’s Other Health Impairment, an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?
  2. Did the School District provide a Free, Appropriate Public Education for the Student?
MR-Philadelphia-ODRNo-8474-07-08-KE

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