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Honig v. Doe
United States Supreme Court
484 U.S. 305, 108 S. Ct. 592 (1988)
Officials of the San Francisco Unified School District (school district) (plaintiff) attempted to expel indefinitely two emotionally disturbed male students (defendants) who behaved in a violent and disruptive manner toward other students at school. The outbursts were related to the two students’ disabilities. School officials reported incidents of verbal and physical outbursts, choking another student, breaking a window, stealing, extorting money from fellow students, and making sexual comments to female classmates. The parents of both students brought suit in the district court. They alleged that the school district’s indefinite suspension of the students until an expulsion hearing could be held was a prohibited change in placement, violating the stay-put provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the parents and returned the two students to their current educational placements at school. The school district appealed. The appeals court agreed with the district court and clarified that the stay-put provision of the IDEA did not allow for a dangerousness exception, effectively invalidating California law that permitted the indefinite suspension or expulsion of disabled children for such misconduct. The matter was appealed to the United States Supreme Court for a final determination.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
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