Special education students in California have the right to receive educational services and resources when their school receives federal funding for such programs. Unfortunately, too many students do not receive what has been promised.
When this happens, parents can seek legal action to address the situation and protect their child. This is what one mother is doing after she says her daughter's school tried to relocate the student to another school and failed to comply with court orders.
How it all started
The case began when the school tried to relocate the 10-year-old student who has Sanfilippo Syndrome. School staff and administrators reportedly claimed that based on the girl's needs and behavior, she should attend a different school roughly 20 miles away.
The girl's mother disputed the relocation, and an administrative law judge ruled in her favor. Instead of moving the student, the school was ordered to created an individualized education plan.
From bad to worse
Unfortunately, the court order evidently had little impact. The mother says that the school never completed her daughter's IEP plan. She also says that her daughter and her other children have been harassed and retaliated against as a result of the legal situation.
The mother continues to seek justice; she has filed another motion to have the courts enforce the original order. She is also requesting that the school be responsible for paying more than $50,000 in legal expenses she has taken on as a result of the situation.
The school, however, filed its own lawsuit in federal court seeking an overruling of the original order and a dismissal of the claim seeking reimbursement of legal costs. It is now up to the courts to decide who will prevail.
What other parents can take from this case
This case is an unfortunate reminder that disputes between parents and schools can be more complicated than expected, and fights can erupt even after a court makes a ruling. As such, it is often helpful to work with a legal representative throughout the duration of these cases to ensure a fair ruling and legal compliance.