TF vs. Fox Chapel Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: T.F.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: April 16, 2012 June 8, 2012 June 14, 2012 June 19, 2012

OPEN HEARING

ODR Case #2803-1112AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Fox Chapel Area School District 611 Field Club Road
Pittsburgh PA 15238

Representative:

Jeffrey Ruder, Esquire 710 Fifth Avenue Suite 2600
Pittsburgh PA 15219

Patricia Andrews, Esquire 1500 Ardmore Boulevard Suite 506
Pittsburgh PA 15221

Date Record Closed: July 16, 2012

Date of Decision: August 14, 2012

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Name redacted] (“student”) is [an elementary school-aged] student residing in the Fox Chapel Area School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (specifically under Section 504 of that statute, hence the follow-on reference to this section as “Section 504”).1 Parents claim that, in the 2010-2011 school year, the District’s alleged inability and/or indifference to provide the student a Section 504 plan to accommodate the student’s disability, a severe tree nut allergy, denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). Parents also claim that the District discriminated against the student in its alleged acts and omissions and retaliated against them using provisions of Pennsylvania’s Public School Code of 1949 (“School Code”)2 related to truancy. Ultimately, parents sought a unilateral private placement and seek from the District reimbursement for the private school tuition.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District on most issues and in favor of the parents on one issue.

ISSUES

Was the student denied a FAPE for the District’s alleged failures under its Section 504 obligations?

If so, are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement?

Did the District discriminate against the student in violation of its Section 504 obligations?

Did the District retaliate against the parents?

T-F-Fox-Chapel-Area-ODRNo-2803-1112AS-

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