Mediation: FAPE AND MEDIATION?

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Tish:  While mediation agreements can not be used as “evidence”, what if a parent signed something that was illegal. For example – agree to take a child off an active IEP by agreeing to do another ETR and say the child is not eligible-though the child was- just as a way to move the child from an IEP to a 504. Parent attorney (unbeknownst to them at the time) had a undisclosed conflict of interest with the school attorney.  It seems they worked together to keep the parents in the dark about the legal way [a parental refusal, which would have allowed the parents to put the child back on the IEP if the school a.) the school did not do what they agreed- which occurred and b.) if the child displayed failure- which also occurred.]. How can the illegal act- falsification of a disabled person’s status- be addressed if the agreement is not considered “evidence”? This seems fraudulent and strategic on the school’s part. Any help would be great- we are now representing our child ourselves.

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Tish –

I can’t speak to most of your post – it may be good to consult with another attorney. I can say, though, that a signed mediation agreement CAN be used as evidence in a due process hearing. The conversations that occurred during the mediation cannot be used as evidence. See the IDEA regulations at § 300.506.

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