SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: S.F.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Date of Hearing: August 19, 2014
ODR File No. 14872-1314AS
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Tidioute Community Charter School 241 Main Street
Tidioute, PA 16351
Charles E. Steele, Esquire Christopher N. Elnicki, Esquire Steele Schneider
428 Forbes Avenue, Suite 700 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Richard Winkler, Esquire Butcher & Winkler
123 North Franklin Street Titusville, PA 16354
Date Record Closed: September 8, 2014
Date of Decision: September 19, 2014
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a pre-teenaged student attending the Tidioute Community Charter School (hereafter School) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parent filed a due process complaint against the School in April 2014, asserting that it violated the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing which convened over a single session,4 at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parent sought to establish that the School failed to provide Student with FAPE throughout the time period in question, and that it discriminated against Student on the basis of Student’s disability in contravention of Section 504. The School maintained that its special education program was appropriate for Student, and that it did not engage in prohibited discrimination.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parent and Student on some of their claims, and in favor of the School on one of the claims.
- Whether the School denied Student FAPE during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years;
- Whether the actions of the School against Student on February 27, 2014 amounted to discrimination on the basis of, and deliberate indifference to, Student’s disability; and
- If either of the above are answered in the affirmative, is Student entitled to compensatory education and/or declaratory or other relief.