New Case! Doug C. v Hawaii
Parent Participation at IEP Meetings

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 91,875
ISSN: 1538-320
July 2, 2013

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IEP MeetingIn Doug C. v. Hawaii (June 13, 2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an important decision about parental participation at IEP meetings.

Pete says that all special education staff who conduct IEP meetings should be familiar with this landmark ruling about IEP meetings and parental participation.

Question: Must the school hold an IEP meeting before the “annual review deadline?” If the meeting is not held, do the child’s services “lapse” until a new IEP is agreed on?

Question: If there are logistical scheduling conflicts for an IEP meeting, is priority given to the schedules of the school staff or the parent?

Question: Can the school cure the failure to include a parent at an IEP meeting by convening a second IEP meeting with the parent within 30 days?

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate learn the important lessons from this case and find the answers to the questions in the analysis of Doug C. v Hawaii by Pete and Pam Wright.

dad and son at school

New! Doug C. v Hawaii - Critical Questions Answered about IEP Meetings

The Court held it was not reasonable for the DOE to prioritize strict deadline compliance over parent participation at the IEP meeting. Parent attendance at the IEP meeting must take priority over the attendance of others.

Read the Analysis of Doug C. v Hawaii by Pete and Pam Wright.


Doug C. v Hawaii (12-15079)

Doug C. requested a special education due process hearing against the State of Hawaii Department of Education because the school held his son's IEP meeting in his absence.

Doug C. lost the due process hearing and the District Court upheld the Hearing Officer. The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the decision.

The facts of this case are on page 5 and 6 of the decision located at

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

Court Considers the Purposes of IDEA

Balancing parent participation and the procedural timeline requirement, the Court keeps the two primary purposes - the mission statement - of IDEA in mind.

  • to prepare the child for “further education, employment and independent living."
  • “to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected."

20 USC § 1400(d)(1)(A) and (B) - Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Ed., page 48.

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