Student and Dracut Public Schools – BSEA # 08-5330
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Bureau of Special Education Appeals
In Re: Student & Dracut Public Schools
This matter comes before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals on the Student’s Emergency Motion for “Stay Put” filed today. The Student asserts:
1.) That he is a Student with a disability entitled to receive a free, appropriate public education;
2.) That he is a resident of Dracut, and therefore that Dracut is responsible for ensuring that he receives a free, appropriate public education;
3.) That Dracut intends to award a high school diploma to the Student today,
thereby terminating his entitlement under 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq and M.G.L.c.71B to a free, appropriate public education;
4.) That the Student had previously rejected Dracut’s graduation plan for him, and had filed a request for a Hearing before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals on May 30, 2008, challenging the District’s proposed graduation/termination of special education and seeking continuation of special education services beyond June 6, 2008.
5.) That on June 5, 2008, Dracut indicated to the Student’s attorney it’s intent to award a high school diploma to the Student on June 6, 2008 despite the intervening hearing request.
6.) The Student wishes to participate in the high school graduation ceremony on June 6, 2008 along with his class, but does not wish to receive a diploma or to terminate his eligibility for special education.
Counsel for the School District was not available on June 6, 2008 for a conference call with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals. Therefore, based on the facts asserted in the Student’s Emergency Motion and the Student’s Attorney’s Affidavit which accompanied it, and hewing to the clear intent of federal and state special education law to preserve a Student’s IDEA entitlements pending final disposition of any disagreements between a student and a school district, I find that the Student is entitled to participate in the Dracut High School graduation ceremony tonight, to refuse the proferred diploma, and to maintain his status as an IDEA eligible student pending the outcome of his appeal to the Bureau of Special Education Appeals. 20 U.S.C.§1415 (j); 34 CFR 300.518; M.G.L.c.71B§3; 603 CMR 28.08 (7).
The Students Emergency Motion for “Stay Put” is GRANTED . The Student’s “Stay Put” placement is the last agreed upon set of special education services at Dracut high School as memorized in the Student’s current IEP. The Student may participate in high school graduation exercises, may refuse the proferred diploma and will retain his substantive and procedural rights to a free, appropriate public education until resolution of BSEA #08-5330.
By the Hearing Officer,
Dated: June 6, 2008