FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
The School District holds an Admission, Review, and Dismissal committee (“ARD”) meeting to decide whether a student qualifies for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400–1482 (2012). The ARD found that Montana qualified for special services under IDEA to accommodate his speech impediment (a lisp), learning disability (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and, eventually, his emotional disturbance. Accordingly, the ARD developed an Individual Education Plan (“IEP”) and a Behavioral Improvement Plan (“BIP”) for Montana while he attended Stewart’s Creek Elementary School (“Stewart’s Creek”). Beginning when Montana was in kindergarten, Stewart’s Creek provided Montana speech therapy, dyslexia services, and counseling.
Montana was troubled, and when he was in second grade his mother informed a teacher that “he was making verbal statements about hurting himself at home.” Accordingly, the ARD requested that Montana undergo a full psychological evaluation. A psychologist reviewing Montana’s test results concluded that Montana should be identified as “Emotionally Disturbed.” Montana’s peers picked on him at school. One documented altercation took place on November 4, 2009 when “[a] student verbally provoked (or tried to) Montana.” “Montana responded ‘I’m not afraid of you,’” pushed the student, and the student then “pushed Montana into a stack of chairs.” In another altercation on December 18, 2009, Montana pulled out a pocketknife. Montana was playing outside when, according to Montana, another student told him to stop playing like a ninja. Montana told this student that he was a “bully.” A
The Lances consistently agreed with the ARD’s decisions throughout Montana’s education at Stewart’s Creek.
Case: 12-41139 Document: 00512548323 Page: 2 Date Filed: 02/28/2014