A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: students

Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of NJLAD Claim for Sexual Assault on a School Bus

By on June 20, 2022 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 13, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision on an issue of first impression in C.V. v. Waterford Township Board of Education, where the Court addressed whether the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) applies to claims arising from a sexual predator’s abuse against a young schoolgirl where such conduct was committed on a school bus. Based on the undisputed facts of this case, the Appellate Division concluded that the LAD did not apply because there was no evidence that gender motivated the assault. This […]

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Settlement Agreements of IDEA Cases in the OAL Are Disclosable Under OPRA

By: Angela Reading, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On May 18, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in the case of C.E. v. Elizabeth Public School District, in which the Court held that settlement agreements resolving Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) disputes that have been docketed in the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) and final decisions incorporating or pertaining to those settlement agreements are subject to disclosure under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”).   Prior to this decision, boards of education typically deemed all special education settlement agreements as confidential student […]

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District Court Affirms Failure to Strictly Implement “Door-to-Door” Transportation Did Not Violate IDEA

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 17, 2022, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in S.W. v. Elizabeth Board of Education that “transportation to and from the corner bus stop rather than from the disabled child’s home did not rise to the level of a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”), did not significantly impede the parents’ opportunity to participate relative to his education and did not cause a deprivation of educational benefits.” In S.W., the parents of a disabled student sought […]

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Court Approves Settlement Agreement Involving Incarcerated Disabled Students and NJDOC and NJDOE

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 3, 2022, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey approved a settlement agreement between a class of incarcerated students with disabilities and the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“DOC”) and New Jersey Department of Education (“DOE”) in Adam X. v. New Jersey Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs filed a civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of incarcerated disabled students in DOC adult prisons. These students were eligible for special education. They alleged that the DOC and DOE failed to provide special education or related services and equal […]

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Third Circuit Clarifies that Decisions Approving Voluntary Special Education Settlements are Appealable Under IDEA

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) permits any aggrieved party of an administrative finding to file an appeal in federal district court. Typically, an administrative finding is a final decision by an Administrative Law Judge on the substance and merits of an underlying due process petition brought by parents of a special education student against a public school district. On March 16, 2022, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in G.W. v. Ringwood Board of Education clarifying that the entry of a “Decision Approving Settlement” […]

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Court Affirms Failing to Collaborate Gives Reason to Deny Tuition Reimbursement Under the IDEA

By: Sean P. Dugan, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 8, 2021, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in I.G. et al. v. Linden City Board of Education that the parents of a student with a disability who unilaterally placed their child in a private school were not entitled to tuition reimbursement. In Linden City, the parents of the student sought reimbursement for the private school tuition. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), a parent who does not believe that their child is being provided a […]

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First Amendment: U.S. Supreme Court Narrows the Right of Schools to Discipline Off Campus Speech

By on July 6, 2021 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Gitika Kapoor, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Supreme Court of United States ruled on June 23, 2021 that a Pennsylvania public school district violated a student’s First Amendment rights by punishing her for posting a vulgar message on social media while off-campus and off school hours. In reaching this decision in Mahanoy Area School District v. Levy, the Court considered that the speech was made off campus and did not involve school infrastructure. Moreover, it did not cause substantial disruption because while it upset a few students and was a topic of discussion for a few days, […]

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Second Circuit Holds FBAs Are Not “Evaluations” for Purposes of Special Ed Parents’ Independent Evaluation Requests

By on October 13, 2020 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

In a precedential opinion sure to make waves in the special education community, on September 17, 2020, in D.S. v. Trumbull Board of Education, 120 L.R.P. 133 (2d Cir. 2020), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that functional behavioral assessments (“FBAs”) of special education students conducted by a public school district are not “evaluations” capable of triggering a parent’s right to request an independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) from the district by an outside evaluator, at public expense.  The case puts front and center an issue of first impression that has rarely been addressed in the district courts of the […]

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Offer Reasonable Accommodations for Students Who are Unable to Wear Face Coverings

By on July 29, 2020 in Students with 0 Comments

Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq., a shareholder in the firm’s School Law Group, was recently interviewed by Special Ed Connection on the topic of accommodations for students who are unable to wear face coverings. To view the PDF version of the article, please click here.

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NJDOE Issues Guidance on ESY 2020 During COVID-19 Pandemic

On June 12, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Education (“NJDOE”) provided guidance to school districts on the delivery of extended school year (“ESY”) services to eligible students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NJDOE’s guidance was in response to the Governor’s recent Executive Order 149 allowing for in-person ESY programming beginning on or after July 6, 2020. Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and corresponding New Jersey regulations, once a school district determines that a student with disability requires additional educational services during the summer, the school district is required to include an ESY program […]

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