- 504 is a law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with with disabilities.
- All schools are required to offer the 504 plan,by law they aren't allowed to say they don't offer it.
- To be covered under 504 you must first qualify for it.
- The ages are usually between 3-22 years old.
- A child can be referred for an evaluation by anybody.
- Parents do not have to be a part of the 504 plan decision making committee.
- The school determines if they want the parents in the decision making committee.
- They do want parents to help with the process but they do not have to if they choose not to, and it doesn't stop anything if they decide not to be a part of the 504 plan.
- The 504 plan does not have any formalized test the must be given, they just look at the child's grades over the years and teachers reports that have been given.
- Burriola v. Greater Toledo YMCA
- This case was about an 8 year old named Jordan. Jordan had autism and attended the YMCA after school and when they have breaks at the school he attended. A counselor at the YMCA Burriola was helping Jordan while he was there. Jordan was then terminated from the YMCA.
- The result of this case was bringing Jordan back to the YMCA and making sure the staff got the training necessary to best accommodate Jordan. All the staff members that were going to be involved with Jordan had to get this training, and there is a deadline to when they were to get it don by.
- I personally think that it is crazy they got away with it in the first place. That was a big sign of discrimination and they should have been trained once they first introduced Jordan to the YMCA. Thankfully they had people that believed Jordan should be there and got him back in.
2. Jarron Draper v. Atlanta Public School District
- J.D. was 21 years of age at the time of his case. His due process began while he was in the 11th grade. The beginning of this all started when he was in the fourth grade, his mom agreed to a complete comprehensive evaluation. He was then allowed to move to the fifth grade after they determined his IQ would allow him to move up. When he got up to ninth grade his mother had him in a specialized school to hopefully help improve his learning. His mother did these things all at her own expense to help her child improve and learn in school.
- After moving schools changing programs to help J.D. achieve in school it ended up his family got partial reimbursement for all the cost that they went through to help J.D. improve in school.
- I think that it is crazy that they had to go through all of that just to end up somewhere they should have years ago. It should not have taken that long to figure everything out. J.D.'s mother shouldn't have had to do the most of it by herself.
3. Mark H. et al v. Patricia Hamamoto and Hawaii Department of Education
- In this case there are two siblings who both have autism. Their family took the school to court because there children were not being granted FAPE. When they went to court there complaint involved the school failing to provide accommodations and they did not make an IEP to meet there children's unique needs.
- It all ended in the children's favor and the school had to pay for the costs.
- I think that it is crazy they let it get that far, they had to have known they were not doing as they should have been. It shouldn't have even been a question what these children needed and how they could accommodate them to succeed.
4. Polera v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City Sch. Dist
- This case involves a little girl who is visually impaired. She claims that the public school was not providing her FAPE. The school stated that they provided her mother with notices that would help her child be successful in school, and her mother never got back to the school for any of it. The court then found that the school had intentionally discriminated against Polera and she was rewarded an amount of money for her emotional distress. Since they waited until after she had graduated to file the complaint she did not win the case.
- The case ended up having Polera exhaust all efforts of bringing the school to court. She lost and the case was dismissed.
- I feel like if she saw it while she was in school I don't know why they would have waited so long. I completely understand why the court ruled in the schools favor. You can not wait as long as they did and expect to win.
Legal Ramifications of Section 504 from the perspective of District Director of Special Education.
- If schools are taken to court or go to court it does not look good on the school or the community. It can often make the community very upset with what is going on.
- It can make it very hard for districts to find teachers to work for them. They don't want to get caught up in a mess.
- By going to court it is very likely for teachers and administrators to lose there job.
- The time that they spend in court is time they could have been working on the school. The money they spend at court could be money they could be using to improve the school. Through processes like these a lot of time and money is wasted.
Legal ramifications applying to the school.
- It can cause a lot of problems for not only the school but for the people who work for the school.
- Teachers can potentially get fired from there job. Teacher can get frustrated with the school and why things like this are happening.
- Can effect the children's learning environment with all the commotion that is going on with there school.
- Can cause students not to feel safe in the school.
- Can cause very unhappy parents and potential loss of students because of it. They will go to a different school.
Pitfalls to Avoid & Troubleshooting, Handling Complaints.
Proactive Steps to avoid Pitfalls
- Learn from yours and others mistakes.
- Learn from things that others and yourself have done wrong.
- Don't be afraid to realize you are wrong and fix it.
Do your research
- Make sure you know exactly what needs to be done.
- Make sure you have found and have an answer to most things that may be asked.
Have A plan
- Have a list of everything that needs to be done.
- Make a checklist of things you have and haven't done yet.
- Talk with others to make sure everything is getting worked out correctly.
- If you need help or are confused on something talk to others that have experience.
Steps to avoid noncompliance
Create a calendar
- Make sure you write all the planned meetings, conferences you know you have.
- Any parent meetings keep it on there.
- Make sure you write everything down in case some non compliance arises you have it.
- Helps avoid disagreements when it is written down.
Keep up with the changes
- If something comes up and you must change plans do so.
- Make sure you are flexible.
- If you trust the parents and the people you work with it helps avoid problems
- Make them trust you so they don't question your judgment.