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August 2015 Archives

Part 2: Handling Disagreements on Placements of Kids with 504s

Options for resolving disputes regarding a kid on a 504 plan are different than they are for students on an IEP.  They're not as efficient and speedy as options for resolving disputes concerning students on an IEP.  If there is a dispute involving a student on a 504 plan, school districts must conduct an impartial hearing when parents disagree with their child's identification, evaluation or placement.  The details are left up to the discretion of the school district and hearing officer.  Parents often are unhappy with this option, so they may choose to file a complaint with OCR. This complaint may or may not be accepted by OCR, it will take several months for OCR to deal with it and OCR has limited enforcement mechanisms.  OCR will threaten to pull funding from a school district for violations, but this is extraordinarily unlikely.  
Still, OCR can help parents and districts mediate disputes.  Plus, the possibility of OCR consequences normally is enough to get districts to remedy their behavior in case OCR has determined that a district has engaged in a discriminatory fashion. What's particularly frightening for districts is if a parent files suit in federal court under 42 USC 1983 (simply known as "1983") and can prove discrimination against their 504-protected child.  If a parent wins such a suit, the damages could be substantial, and the district would have to pay the parents' attorney fees, which easily could get in the tens or even hundreds of thousands in a federal case.  

Part 1: Handling Disagreements on Placements of Kids with IEPs

With respect to students on an IEP who are being disciplined, sometimes disagreements will arise between the child's parents, who believe that the problem behavior is a manifestation of the student's disability or a school's failure to properly implement the IEP, and the rest of the IEP team, who believe this not to be the case.  If this happens, it is a serious problem, and the school district is going to have to make some very important decisions.  Things for the district can turn very messy very quickly - not to mention very expensive - if there is a determined parent, and the district must make a decision as to whether it wants to have this fight or wants to work out some kind of a compromise with the parent. 

My Child is on an IEP and has been Suspended. What do I do?

First off, don't think that you're powerless.  Regardless of what the school may tell you, if your son or daughter has an IEP and has been suspended or is facing expulsion, you have a great deal of control over what happens next.  

My Boss Hasn't Paid Me. What can I do?

First off, don't worry.  Fortunately, you live in Colorado and the Colorado Wage Act is a powerful tool to use against employers who wrongfully withhold wages. If your last paycheck is being wrongfully withheld, you could be entitled to all of your wages plus another 125% of your wages as a bonus.  The best part is you won't need to pay your attorney a retainer as the Colorado Wage Act has an attorney fee provision. That menas that you could get a lawyer without paying a dime up front.    

Kishinevsky & Raykin, Attorneys at Law
2851 South Parker Road, Suite 150
Aurora, CO 80014-2722

Phone: 720-863-4256
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