Student vs. Pocono Mountain School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: [REDACTED]

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: December 4, 2008

CLOSED HEARING

ODR No. 9430/08-09 LS

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents: [REDACTED]

School District:
Betsy Gustafson
Director of Special Education Pocono Mountain School District P.O. Box 200
Swiftwater, PA 18370

Representative: Pro Se

School District Attorney:
Rebecca A. Young, Esq.
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul 1 West Broad Street, Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: December 9, 2008

Date of Decision: December 12, 2008

Hearing Officer: Daniel J. Myers

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[REDACTED] (Student)1 was attending the Pocono Mountain School District’s (School District) public school when Student followed a peer into the lavatory, engaged in a fight, and broke the peer’s nose. The School District suspended Student for 10 days, determined that Student’s behavior was not a manifestation of Student’s disability, and unilaterally removed Student to a 45 day interim alternative educational setting (IAES). Student appealed both the manifestation determination and the IAES removal. For the reasons described below, I affirm the School District’s manifestation determination and I reverse the IAES removal.

ISSUE

Whether Student’s October 2, 2008 conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, Student’s disability?
Whether the School District’s unilateral IAES removal complies with law?

Student-Betsy-Gustafson-ODRNo-9430-08-09-LS

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