A student received special education services due to a learning disability in written expression and an “other health impairment” due to ADHD and allergies. The student had a history of behavioral and academic problems, resulting in poor grades and disciplinary referrals for disruptive conduct.

The Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee, which included the parents, agreed to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the student that included instructional and behavioral accommodations. The student also met with a behavioral interventionist twice each week.
After this IEP was put into place, the student was involved in an incident that the district concluded constituted a felony offense. He received a 60-day referral to the district Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP). The parents withdrew the student from the district that day, and the student did not return to the district or enroll elsewhere.

The parents requested a due process hearing, alleging that the district improperly disciplined the student and challenging the IEP.
The hearing officer found that the school district had acted appropriately when disciplining the student. The district was required by law to assign the student to the DAEP for conduct on school property that was punishable as a felony. The district acted reasonably and in good faith when it concluded that this had occurred. The incident was not caused by or substantially related to the student’s disabilities, so the district was justified in disciplining the student in the same manner that it would have disciplined a student without a disability. The hearing examiner also concluded that the IEP was appropriate for the student’s behavioral and academic needs.