5th Circuit affirms ruling in favor of Copperas Cove ISD

The 5th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Copperas Cove ISD in a case involving a student with dyslexia.  The court agreed with the lower court, that the boy made progress with the services provided by the school. 

We’ve reported on this case here before.  The lower court made some rulings that had the potential to upset longstanding practices regarding services to students with dyslexia.  Depending on how the 5th Circuit ruled in the case, the Dyslexia Handbook might have been due for a major overhaul.  Now we know this will not happen.  The court had a simpler take on this case, noting that there was a strong factual record that supported the district’s position.  The court expressed no opinion about the relationship between dyslexia, learning disabilities, and IDEA eligibility. Instead, the court pointed out the big disconnect between what the plaintiff alleged vs. what actually happened. Here’s an example:

Appellants repeat the argument that the District revoked W.V.’s impairment status based solely on a five-minute assessment.  The magistrate addressed this contention at length, finding the District’s speech pathologist worked with W.V. five times per week, for thirty minutes per meeting, per six-week grading period.  Furthermore, the magistrate made extensive findings regarding the speech pathologist’s qualifications and interactions with W.V., none of which Appellants address on appeal.

In other words: these school people knew what they were doing, and did it properly.  The lawyers did a good job on this one as well, and I’m pleased to let you know that it was a Walsh Gallegos team that represented the district.

It’s William V. v. Copperas Cove ISD, decided by the 5th Circuit on September 14, 2020.

Tomorrow: Nana wants to bring cupcakes to school.