CASE STUDY Jesse
When Jesse enrolled in kindergarten, his mother told the principal and his kindergarten teacher that she had obtained an evaluation for Jesse. Jesse had been diagnosed with ADHD and was on medication that was administered at home. She offered to provide a copy of the evaluation to the school. The principal told her the school didn’t need to have the information and that the curriculum was strong and appropriate for Jesse. He added that the teacher was experienced and Jesse would do fine in her class
Jesse had problems focusing in kindergarten and his teacher recommended that he be retained. The parent was upset and requested that Jesse have an evaluation by the school. The kindergarten teacher thought that would be a good idea but the principal thought that another year in kindergarten would make a positive difference, so Jesse repeated kindergarten. The parent raised the fact that the teacher had not let her know how Jesse was progressing until the recommendation for retention and although she didn’t really want him to repeat kindergarten she felt pressured by the principal.
Jesse had a different teacher his second year in kindergarten and he continued to have difficulty staying on task. His mother again asked for another evaluation and the new kindergarten teacher thought that would be a good idea. The principal told the mother to take Jesse back to the doctor to evaluate his medication. Jesse’s mother did that and his medication was changed. Jesse began to do better and went on to the first grade.
In first grade, Jesse struggled with reading. By the end of the first semester Jesse was behind his peers. His mother again asked for extra reading help and an evaluation. Both the first grade teacher and principal told the mother it was not necessary, they wanted to wait to see if he would catch up. They said lots of children just needed more time to crack the code. Jesse ended his first grade year not reading at all but went to second grade.His parent requested two actions, extra reading help and an evaluation be completed over summer break. Again the principal denied both requests.
In second grade Jesse struggled more with his reading and began complaining about going to school. He often told her he had stomach aches and also boys made fun of him because he couldn’t read. His parent went to an attorney and the attorney requested that he be evaluated. The evaluation was finally done, and it was determined that Jesse had a significant learning disability. To the mother and attorney, Jesse was fearful of attending school and was far behind his grade. The mother, together with the attorney, took the school district to a due process hearing.
- What were the legal responsibilities of each of Jesse’s teachers and the building principal at the school?What specific errors were made? Cite special education law to support your answers.
- What might the attorney and the parent request of the school district at this time? Why?
- How do you think the due process hearing officer ruled in this case and why? Cite special education law to support your answers.
Research the due process system in New Jersey and write a 5 sentence description of it free of educational jargon.