Five students in Guam sought an injunction that would require Guam to implement IEPs despite a state-mandated shutdown due to COVID. The court declined to do so. The court noted that it was unlikely that this type of shutdown would constitute a “change of placement” that would trigger stay-put obligations. The court relied on N.D. v. State of Hawaii, 54 IDELR 111 (9th Cir. 2010) which held that “Congress did not intend for the IDEA to apply to system wide administrative decisions.”
That’s more clear-cut than the ruling we told you about yesterday where a New York court ordered the school to honor “stay put” decrees “to the extent that they can be safely performed in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, in compliance with guidance from health authorities.” We can expect different courts to come to different conclusions about a slew of legal issues raised by the pandemic’s effect on education. So stay tuned.
This one is J.C. v. Fernandez, decided by the federal district court for the U.S. territory of Guam on July 15, 2020. We found it at 77 IDELR 15.
DAWG BONE: A STATEWIDE SHUTDOWN DOES NOT TRIGGER “STAY PUT”….AT LEAST IN GUAM.
Tomorrow: do you accept transfer students?