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IDEA Complaint Decision 06-042

On September 29, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the [Unnamed] School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, improperly stabilized a student with a disability.

District staff, at times during lunch, loosely tied an apron around the student’s chair in order to provide stabilization. As described, the department has serious safety concerns regarding the use of an apron in this way. The department questions whether an apron would ever be an appropriate stabilization device. Further, use of a stabilization device was not provided for in the student’s individualized education program (IEP), it was not discussed during an IEP meeting, and consequently, there was no determination by the IEP team, including the parents, that it was a necessary and appropriate safety measure. The student no longer attends the school district, and therefore, child specific correction is not required. However, the district must develop a corrective action plan to ensure that stabilizing devices are utilized only if they are included in the student’s IEP after a determination by the IEP team that the device is appropriate and necessary. This determination would generally include input from an occupational therapist or a physical therapist. The corrective action plan must be provided within 30 days from the date of this decision.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//dated 11/28/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy