For those who are new to this story, I have posted some relevant links to previous diaries and news articles at the end of this diary.
Over a month ago, I first brought our story to the attention of this site when I wrote, Our Autistic Son was Handcuffed and Arrested in School, We Were Not Notified, in hopes of exposing what my wife and I believe to be the abuse that our son has received at the hands of various authority figures.
In December, 2012, a teenager went to his public school, much like any other day. The boy was an autistic special education student, who is significantly learning disabled and on a regimen of prescription medications for a number of psychiatric disorders. That day, the boy's parents began to worry when he did not come home after school.There were two components at play - the criminal and the educational.
What the parents did not know was that early on that morning, armed police officers had entered the boy's classroom, handcuffed him, and had taken him away to be interrogated without a call to his parents or any attorney, then locked up for several days.
The boy is our son.
On the criminal side, a judge ruled, in January, that our son's case will be dismissed after 6 months with no finding of guilt.
On the educational side, the district decided to move forward with an attempt to permanently expel our son from all of their district schools. We filed an expedited due process hearing to force the district to return our son to his school, which is what he strongly desires. There were two issues to be decided in the hearing, and the closing arguments were delivered on February 22.
On Friday, we received the judge's decision, and our son has prevailed on both issues.
1) Was Student's conduct, for which the District has recommended expulsion, caused by, or have a direct and substantial relationship to his disability?Order
2) Was Student's conduct, for which the District has recommended expulsion, the direct result of District's failure to implement Student's IEP?
1) District's manifestation determination that Student's conduct was not a manifestation of his disability is reversed.Prevailing Party
2) District shall reinstate Student's enrollment at CHS within five days of this decision.
Pursuant to California Education Code section 56507, subdivision (d), the hearing decision must indicate the extent to which each party has prevailed on each issue heard and decided. Student prevailed on all issues.
We are releasing the following statement to the press:
On behalf of our son and entire family, we are thrilled with Friday’s favorable ruling by the Office of Administrative Hearings. This is one more giant step forward in the right direction.The support we've received in this community has been overwhelming, and our family is forever indebted to you. Our work is not yet done. We will continue to need your help in this matter, and will keep you informed of significant developments.
At this time, we are working to restore some level of normalcy into our son’s life, which has been profoundly affected by these devastating events.
We would also like to thank those who continue to offer their support and kindness throughout this difficult time.
But for now, we are delighted to share in this victory with you,