Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Monday, January 30, 2012

Parent's Obstructionist Tactics Excuse DOE Procedural IDEA Violations


French v. Board of Education, ___F.3d___(2d Cir. Nov. 3, 2011), is an interesting IDEA case. The issue was whether the student was entitled to compensatory education. Compensatory education involves services past age 21 and it requires a gross IDEA violation. Because of the parent's obstructionist tactics in refusing to cooperate, the procedural violations by the DOE were found to have not been "gross." As the court explained:

In our view, the District Court did not err in finding that the primary fault for the gap in Amy’s education lies with her father and not with the District.  As discussed above, French repeatedly rescheduled meetings and refused to allow special education teachers sent by the District to meet with Amy, thereby delaying the development and implementation of the District’s IEPs.  He refused to participate in CSE meetings or to recognize IEPs drafted throughout 1998 and 1999 because he insisted that the District conduct a comprehensive evaluation of Amy—an evaluation French repeatedly obstructed when the District later sought to conduct it.  Further, although the June 23, 1999 IEP wasdeclared invalid by the DoE, it was only one of several IEPs developed by the CSE that were in effectduring the period between 1996 and 2003.6  If French had availed himself of those IEPs, Amy would not have been deprived of the opportunity for a FAPE.  It is clear from the record that French, by engaging in the obstructionist tactics discussed above,substantially prevented the District from implementing properly-developed IEPs that it was ready and willing to implement, and from developing revised IEPs that could have assuaged his concerns

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Special Education Law | Permalink


I am in the same opinion, the court did the right thing, or the best of of all possibilities was chosen in other words!

Posted by: Dara London | Jan 30, 2012 11:42:56 PM

The parent requested a comprehensive evaluation of the student, then refused to let the District conduct the evaluation? What was the nature of his complaint at that time? Was he asking for a different type of evaluation than the District was willing to carry out?

Posted by: alanc230 | Jan 31, 2012 8:49:16 AM

Post a comment