COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Division of Administrative Law Appeals
Bureau of Special Education Appeals
In Re: Student v. Brookline Public Schools
BSEA # 2303670
Corrected Ruling on Parents’ 3rd Motion to Amend BSEA #23-03670
On August 4, 2023, Parents filed Parents’ 3rd Motion to Amend BSEA #23-03670 (the instant matter) seeking to add Student’s placement as an issue for Hearing including procedural violations regarding placement. Parents’ 3rd Motion to Amend asserts claims starting in October of 2019 and restates claims previously raised, including: failure to implement Student’s IEP and denials of FAPE; failure to conduct timely evaluations; procedural due process allegations involving child find and parental participation; and Brookline’s failure to implement DESE’s Corrective Action Plan for the period from September of 2022 to the present
Parents’ August 4, 2023, submission also states that on April 3, 2023, this Hearing Officer issued a Ruling dismissing DESE/ PRS as a party. Without specificity, Parents’ advocate alleges that on July 11, and August 1, 2023, the BSEA Director “intervened” and “imposed undue influence on the Hearing Officer”. Parents request that the BSEA Director “stop any influences she may want to exert over the Hearing Officer.” The advocate goes on to state her expectation that the Hearing Officer will decline to take jurisdiction over the “undue influence” allegation.
Thereafter, on August 9, 2023, Parent’s filed a Motion for Response to Parents’ August 3, 2023, Request To Postpone Due Process Hearing and Parents’ 3rd Motion to Amend. An Order granting Parents’ request for postponement of the Hearing was issued separately on August 10, 2023.
Brookline Public Schools did not respond to Parents’ Motions.
As noted in previous rulings in the instant case, given that Parents’ initial Hearing Request was received on October 26, 2022, claims dating earlier than October 26, 2020, fall outside the IDEA 2-years statute of limitations and are thus barred. To the extent that Parents yet again raise the same issues previously disposed of via the Ruling issued on August 4, 2023, addressing multiple motions (including two Amendments to the Hearing Request and Brookline’s Partial Motion to Dismiss), I hereby adopt and incorporate by reference the discussions, findings and conclusions entered then, and decline to discuss those determinations further.
To the extent that Parents’ 3rd Motion to Amend the Hearing Request seeks to add the issue of Student’s placement as an issue for Hearing, Parents’ Motion is GRANTED.
Lastly, the advocate’s submission alleges “undue influence”. The Hearing Officer is at a loss as to the advocate’s allegation, especially as she offers no factual explanation for her claim. It is unclear whether this is another attempt by the advocate to forum shop by attempting to disqualify the Hearing Officer by raising baseless, unspecified, meritless allegations. This is not the advocate’s first attempt at recusal as she previously sought recusal and then removal of this Hearing Officer when displeased by an Order requiring her to file a hardcopy of a document containing over 100 pages. A Ruling denying said prior motion for recusal was issued on April 3, 2023.
More recently, the advocate falsely stated that she had not been copied on an email initiated by the opposing party, despite her correct email address appearing on the email recipient list.
For the record I note that the BSEA Director has never, in the instant matter, or any other case, attempted to exert any “undue influence”, on this Hearing Officer, or, to my knowledge, any other BSEA Hearing Officer. The Parties are assured that every BSEA Hearing Officer in Massachusetts is required to exercise his/ her own independent judgment in every determination, and cases are decided on the basis of the evidentiary record and the applicable law.
So Ordered by the Hearing Officer,
Rosa I. Figueroa
Dated: September 1, 2023
 Regarding compensatory claims, Parents are again reminded that compensatory services are an equitable remedy designed to make the student whole, not a quid pro quo.