PJ vs. Penn Hills School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: P. J.
Date of Birth: 00/00/0000

Dates of Hearing: 07/22/08

CLOSED HEARING

ODR No. 9032/07-08 LS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

Penn Hills School District

Representative:

Darren Kennedy
Special Education Coordinator

Parent Attorney: None

Craig Alexander, Esq. School District Attorney

Date Record Closed: July 25, 2008

Date of Decision: August 9, 2008

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, whose IDEA eligibility is attributed to specific learning disabilities, attends XX School. In the spring of 2008, Student [engaged n behavior that was dangerous and potentially destructive]. Subsequently, the School District members of Student’s IEP team determined that such behavior was not a manifestation of Student’s disability and issued a NOREP for a 45 day alternative disciplinary placement to occur at the beginning of the 2008/2009 school year.

Student’s Mother opposed the alternative placement recommendation, contending, initially, that the District did not have sufficient evidence to conclude that Student was involved in the incident which triggered the action. She also protested the procedure of combining the Manifestation Determination Review with the IEP meeting to review and consider an IEP for the 2008/2009 school year, and the District’s failure to inform her that a Manifestation Determination Review would occur at all, much less at the same time as the IEP meeting.

Her request for a due process hearing to address the alleged procedural and substantive violations arising from the manifestation determination and alternative placement recommendation was held in a half day session on July 22, 2008.

ISSUES

Should the Penn Hills School District be permitted to assign Student
to a 45 day alternative educational placement based upon an appropriate determination that Student’s serious infraction of the school code of conduct on May 30, 2008 was not a manifestation of disability and that such determination was made in a procedurally proper manner?

P-J-Penn-Hills-ODRNo-9032-07-08-LS

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