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Jalan: Child was found by the school district to have a disability. Her son had an IEP, that both his father and mother agreed to. The parents of the child are divorced and have joint custody of the child. The child was showing progress under the IEP. The father changed his mind and no longer wants his son to have an IEP. The mother still wants her son to have an IEP. The district cancelled the IEP per father’s request and against mother’s request. Within a week after the cancellation the son had Saturday school and 2 detentions. Does the school hold any responsibility as the child is failing without the IEP? Should the mother request new IEP? Is there anything that can be done to help the child achieve success in school.

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Jill G
01/04/2016 5:32 pm

This is a tough situation.

Assuming that both parents have equal decision making power, the mother can request an eligibility evaluation for a new IEP. And the father can, in the future, revoke consent for that IEP. The school would likely be blameless, because the parents are exercising their rights.

I imagine that both parents share the goal of wanting to see the child succeed, but have different ideas about how to make that happen. Perhaps mediation may help get them on the same page.

IDEA mediation is one option, though mediation through family court may be a better option. If the parents still cannot find common ground, it might be necessarily for only one parent to be granted educational decision making rights.