New BSEA Decisions and Rulings – January 29, 2015


Eleanor & Pembroke Public Schools – BSEA # 15-0378

This matter involved a Motion of the Pembroke Public Schools for Substitute Consent to Issue Referral Packets. The family did not provide consent for the district to send referral packets, as they did not believe that the private placements, proposed by the district, were appropriate for their daughter. In turn, the district sought an order to override the lack of consent.

The hearing officer denied the district’s motion and found that “[n]owhere in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or in Massachusetts law is there a mechanism to overrule parents’ refusal to consent to the release of protected student records for the purpose of sending referral packets to prospective out-of-district placements.”

While a district can seek substitute consent when a parent does not consent to a reevaluation or to placement, “the Board, the agency properly charged with developing the Massachusetts special education regulations, has chosen not to create a mechanism to allow for overrides of parental consent in the context of referral packets.”

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Daniel & King Phillips Regional School District – BSEA # 15-04287

Hearing officer found that an expulsion should be reversed and expunged from the student’s records since the district failed to conduct a manifestation hearing.

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In re: Barnstable Public Schools – BSEA #11-1387C

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In Re: Richmond Consolidated School District (“RCS”) – BSEA # 14-10881

Hearing officer found that district’s IEP provided FAPE where parents attempted to rely on independent evaluation reports that they had not previously provided to the district.

Because the parents did not provide the evaluators’ reports to the district, the hearing officer found, “By not providing this report to Richmond, the TEAM process could not be fully implemented. By all accounts, the TEAM would have convened to review this report in the same manner it had convened to review other reports and information that was presented to them. To allow the parents to rely on the testimony and report of Ms. Imperatore and Ms. Odato-Staed to attempt to prove that the IEP was not reasonably calculated to provide a FAPE to Mark, would circumvent the TEAM process, violate the special education laws and prejudice the school district. I, therefore, have not given any weight to the testimony of Ms. Imperator or Odato-Staed or their respective report.”

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Boston Public Schools v. Student – BSEA # 15-03083 & 14-01653

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Malden Public Schools – BSEA # 14-09290 & 15-00006

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