Child Find cases often hinge on the specific criteria for the disability that the student might be demonstrating. In this case the disability that might have been suspected was a serious emotional disturbance. The court reviewed the specific criteria for SED and determined that the district was not obligated to refer for an IDEA evaluation until there was evidence of problems in schooling despite general education interventions.
The court held that the district did not violate the Child Find standard. The school was aware of the student’s depression and hospitalization, but responded with appropriate interventions, and the student continued to perform adequately academically while taking a heavy load of advanced classes. The Child Find duty was not triggered until the district was informed of the student’s threat to “shoot up” the school. That did it, but the district responded to this with a threat assessment and a referral for a special education evaluation. That satisfied the Child Find duty.
The case is D.T. v. Cherry Creek School District No. 5, decided by the U.S. District Court for Colorado on June 23, 2021, and found on Special Ed Connection at 79 IDELR 74.
DAWG BONE: GENERAL RULE: PROBLEMS AT HOME DON’T TRIGGER CHILD FIND DUTIES.
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