A charter school filed a request for a temporary injunction to prevent a student from attending school at its campus. The student had filed a request for a due process hearing. While the due process hearing was pending, the “stay put” provision of the IDEA required that the student remain in his current educational placement, which would normally be the charter school. However, the charter school argued that it would suffer irreparable harm if it allowed the student to continue to attend.  

The student was a 15-year-old male with severe autism, communication and cognitive delays and unpredictable behavior. While at the charter school, despite the fact that he was always accompanied by a teacher or aide, he assaulted a student, the student’s parent, and his own teacher. He bit, scratched, grabbed, hit and pulled hair. He also engaged in self-injury. Additionally, as he grew, he became increasingly difficult to control in a student population that was younger and smaller than him. The campus served students in grades K-8 and the student had already been retained for a year prior to the request for a due process hearing. The teacher assigned to work with him resigned and the school was unable to secure a suitable replacement, despite reasonable efforts to do so.

In contrast, the traditional public school where the student would have been assigned based on residence had a self-contained classroom for students with behavioral issues and indicated that it was ready and able to comply with all aspects of the student’s IEP and BIP. The school had facilities to fulfill his particular needs, particularly autism and behavioral issues, and offered the student the opportunity to attend school with students closer to his age.

The district court granted the charter school’s request for an injunction and ordered that the student not attend the charter school. It found that the charter school would suffer irreparable harm if the student continued to attend, given the substantial risk of harm he posed to the younger student population and his demonstrated behavioral issues. The stay put placement was ordered to be the school where the student was assigned based on residence.