|Home > News > The Special Ed Advocate News Alert, April 25, 2000|
On Tuesday, April 25, 2000, the Circuit Court of Montgomery County (Maryland) issued a Temporary Restraining Order that enjoined Montgomery County Public Schools from enforcing its "EIGHT SEMESTER RULE" against Chris Smink, a student with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Because of learning problems related to Attention Deficit Disorder, Chris repeated ninth grade. He was unable to complete high school in eight semesters.
Because of their "EIGHT SEMESTER RULE," Montgomery County Public Schools would not allow Chris to play lacrosse during his senior year.
The Court found that "immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm will result to the plaintiff before a full adversary hearing can be held . . ."
The Court concluded that by enforcing the EIGHT SEMESTER RULE against Chris, he would be "prevented from participating . . . due to his disability and . . . the harm will be irreparable because he only has this opportunity to participate over the next few days."
The Restraining Order expires on May 5, 2000.
The Circuit Court discussed reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Because the student was in his fifth year in high school because of his disability, the Court found that the school district should have waived their EIGHT SEMESTER RULE and allowed Chris to participate on the lacrosse team.
Chris' Attorneys: Jeff Southmayd and Steven Van Grack.
NOTE: Mr. Southmayd's son Jeff is captain of the lacrosse team.
FROM WRIGHTSLAW: We have requested copies of the Complaint in this case and will advise subscribers when this information is available