The parent of a Calallen High School special needs student has filed a lawsuit against the Calallen Independent School District in federal court, alleging the district failed to provide required services.
The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Corpus Christi Division on Aug. 15. In court documents, the 17-year old female student is identified only by the initials "N.T."
According to the suit, the student has been diagnosed with a number of medical issues, including autism, speech impairment, learning disability, epilepsy, carnitine deficiency, asthma, Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder, Atrial Septal Defect, Mitochondrial Disease and immunoglobulin A deficiency.
According to court documents, as part of a settlement with the family the district agreed in August 2007 to develop an Individualized Education Program and to conduct an evaluation to determine if the student could receive assistive technology. By March 2008, the evaluation and plan had not been conducted, leading the student's parent to file a request for a "due process hearing" before a Special Education Hearing Officer from the Texas Education Agency. After hearing the facts in the ongoing dispute, in July 2008 the hearing officer issued a summary judgement in favor of the district, finding that the officer had no jurisdiction over the case because the disagreement stemmed from a previous settlement.
That ruling by the hearing officer led the student's family to file suit in federal court, asking Judge Hayden Head to vacate the hearing officer's ruling and to order the district to provide the student with one full year of "Compensatory Educational Services."
The family also requested that all court costs and attorneys fees be repaid by the district.
The district has not yet filed an answer to the suit, although the board received an update on the case in its meeting Monday.
The family of the student is represented by Corpus Christi attorney Christopher Jonas.