Krawietz v. Galveston Independent School District

900 F.3d 673 (2018)

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Krawietz v. Galveston Independent School District

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
900 F.3d 673 (2018)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Ashley Krawietz (plaintiff) was a disabled student in the Galveston Independent School District (district) (defendant). Krawietz suffered from behavioral problems and several mental disorders. The district identified Krawietz at eight years old as a student with disabilities who was eligible for special education services, and the district developed an individualized education program (IEP) for Krawietz’s learning and behavioral issues. At age 12, Krawietz unenrolled and was homeschooled due to a violent incident with another student. At age 17, Krawietz returned to the district. Krawietz’s application noted her prior IEP, and Krawietz’s family reminded the district of the situation upon enrollment. However, the district could not find Krawietz’s documentation and assumed that Krawietz had been dismissed from special education services. Krawietz demonstrated continued behavioral issues and was failing most of her classes. The district referred Krawietz for services under the Rehabilitation Act, and a committee determined that Krawietz could have academic accommodations like extended deadlines, a quiet workplace, and small-group testing. However, no behavioral plan was created. The next year, Krawietz struggled again with academics and behavioral issues, culminating in a hospitalization. Four months after the hospitalization, Krawietz’s parents requested a special education due-process hearing under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the district requested family consent to perform a full, individual evaluation of Krawietz. Two months later, the district performed the evaluation and found Krawietz eligible for special education services. A special education hearing officer conducted the due-process hearing, finding that Krawietz was eligible for special services under the IDEA and that the district violated its Child Find duty by failing to timely evaluate Krawietz for special education services, which denied Krawietz a full and appropriate public education. Krawietz filed suit in federal district court, and the court upheld the hearing officer’s decision. The district appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graves, J.)

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