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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Experienced Education Law Attorney
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I have a 17 year old daughter with mild cerebral palsy,

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I have a 17 year old daughter with mild cerebral palsy, completing now her fourth year in high school. She is in special education, is being given some type of certificate of completion, not a high school diploma. When the IEP was drafted at the beginning of this fourth year, I disagreed with the plan for graduation, thinking she is still young to exit high school and could benefit from another year with peers of the same age. The high school insisted and placed her on the graduation plan, to exit into an adult community school campus. Though I reluctantly and with pressure from the school, signed the IEP, I have protested this plan, only to have it discounted by the school. I am concerned that due to her young age, developmental delay, and lack of social and emotional preparation, she may be at risk with this adult population. My daughter will turn 18 this August. I am requesting a hearing to appeal the school's placement decision for next year. I am primarily Spanish speaking (using an interpreter to type this question) of low income means, and feel Clovis Unified School District is taking advantage of me and my child for these reasons. Do I have the right to retain my daughter in high school special education program one more year?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

I am sorry that you are in this situation. I will do my best to answer your question simply as I was once an immigrant myself (English is also not my first language). May I ask, did you have a formal hearing with the school about the IEP and the modification?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, I have not. Everytime I requested to speak about my concerns, the special education staff minimized and on record discounted all my concerns, until this last week, when I asked a relative, who speaks English fluently, for help. My cousin, myself and the Special Education Director met; we did not reach an agreement. We are drafting a written request for a hearing, to submitt it this week, prior to the end of the school year. The school did not provide me a form, which I understand exists, to complete in request of a hearing; though I verbalized to the Director that I would be requesting an appeal hearing...her answer was"let us know if you'll be bringing an attorney, so we can have ours present"
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

First of all you have a right to demand that a special hearing be held between yourself and the school. If they fail to provide you with such a hearing, you can also contact the school district superintendent and have him or her provide you with a re-evaluation of your daughter's case. Having a relative with you who speaks proper and articulate English is a plus; it is human nature to treat those that do not speak as less smart (as if speaking a language is a sign of intelligence). Should they fail to help, state that they are in violation of your procedural due process, and that you are ready to retain counsel, specifically to file a petition under violation of 42 USC Section 1983 (if they have an attorney and you provide the information to them, they will know that you are serious, and you likely have a strong case).

I do suggest that you retain counsel if you can. If not, here is the law cited above--learn it and use to try to obtain a formal hearing:

§ 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Once I accept your answer, will I be able to print your answer?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

You should be able to print--once accepted, the site should provide you with the ability email the answer to yourself or to print it from the site.

Good luck.
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