It was fortunate for Harlandale ISD that there was a clear written record of exactly when it informed the parent that her daughter did not qualify for special education services. That happened on April 4, 2017. Instead of offering an IEP, the district declared the student eligible for a plan under Section 504.
The statute of limitations for an IDEA claim began to run on that date. We have a one-year statute for IDEA claims in Texas. The 2021 legislature amended the law to extend the statute to two years, but that amended law is not yet in effect. In this case the parent and/or adult student had one year in which to request a hearing from T.E.A. to challenge the DNQ (Does Not Qualify) decision. The student did request that hearing, but waited until June 25, 2018 to do so. Too late. The hearing officer ruled that it was untimely and dismissed the case. Now the federal court has affirmed that decision.
This student had also sued the district over Title IX, alleging that the school did not value the safety of the girls on the dance team as much as it did the boys on the football team. The court dismissed that claim, as we informed you with the Daily Dawg entry for March 4, 2021.
Title IX claim dismissed in 2021. IDEA claim dismissed in 2022. The 504 claim was dismissed also, for reasons too boring to recount here. We try to keep it interesting. This one is Cano v. Harlandale ISD, decided by the federal court for the Western District of Texas on January 21, 2022. It’s located at 2022 WL 198701. I’m pleased to let you know that two of the excellent lawyers in our firm’s San Antonio office—Craig Wood and Katie Payne—helped produce this result for the district.
DAWG BONE: MAKE A CLEAR RECORD AND THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS CLOCK STARTS TICKING.
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Tomorrow: delayed evaluations….