Wrightslaw - Case - 9th Circuit - IEPs, Parental Participation HIGH Resolution





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Published on Aug 13, 2013

HIGH RES version - (Recommended setting, Full Screen, High Def) This video is about a historical landmark decision regarding IEPs and parental participation. It was issued by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on June 13, 2013. The parent, Doug C., lost a special education due process hearing against the State of Hawaii Dept of Education, lost at the U.S. District Court, and prevailed at the Ninth Circuit.

The speaker is Pete Wright, an attorney who is the co-founder of the Wrightslaw website at www.wrightslaw.com, the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities at www.yellowpagesforkids.com and the From Emotions to Advocacy website at www.fetaweb.com.

You will see the actual Decision on screen as Pete walks you through it, highlighting key provisions.


Must the school hold an IEP meeting before the "annual review deadline?" If the meeting is not held, do the child's services "lapse" until a new IEP is agreed on?

If there are logistical scheduling conflicts for an IEP meeting, is priority given to the schedules of the school staff or the parent?

Can the school cure the failure to include a parent at an IEP meeting by convening a second IEP meeting with the parent within 30 days?

If a school district violates the first prong of providing FAPE (compliance with legal procedures), must the reviewing Court still determine if the district violated the second prong of FAPE (whether the IEP is "reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits")?

If a Due Process Hearing Officer and a U. S. District Court Judge make a finding that the parent's failure to participate in an IEP meeting did not deprive the child of FAPE, what is the standard of review for a U. S. Court of Appeals? Does it require a "de novo" review of the legal conclusions or a "review of the district court's findings of fact for clear error?"

The answers are in the Decision.

As a side note, the eyes of many individuals glaze over when trying to read a legal decision and understand its impact on you, your school, and or your child. Once you have read a half dozen or more, several times, the process is easier and faster. In this video, Pete Wright walks you through the actual ruling so that you can truly understand why Pete is nominating it to be the "Case of the Year."

To read Pete Wright's discussion about this case, go to:

To read and print the actual decision, go to:

(You might want to consider printing the decision and grabbing your yellow highlighter before watching the YouTube video and then be prepared to pause, back up, and replay portions as you read and digest it.)

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