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IDEA Complaint Decision 19-057

On September 4, 2019, and September 26, 2019, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (parent) against the XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding the complaint. The issue is whether the district, on September 4, 2018, December 19, 2018, and September 10, 2019, properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding health protocols.

The student’s IEP and associated health plan in effect on September 4, 2018, specified certain first-aid measures be provided to the student in the event the student experienced a seizure. The plan directed the school staff to call 911 if the seizure resulted in any signs of injury or illness following the seizure, if the seizure lasted longer than five minutes without stopping, or if there was a slow recovery, a second seizure, or difficulty breathing. The plan did not specify any restrictions on food intake following a seizure. On September 4, 2018, the student has a seizure during the lunch period. The seizure lasted between one and two minutes. During the seizure school staff monitored the student to ensure he was not injured. The evidence does not indicate the student exhibited any other signs or symptoms indicated in the health plan that would have triggered the requirement for staff to call 911. When the seizure ended, the student was transported to the school health room, where he was allowed to recover and eat his lunch. The district properly implemented the student’s health plan.

The student’s IEP and associated health plan in effect on December 19, 2018, indicated the student should not eat or be given cow’s milk except for items that have been cooked or cheese. On December 19, 2018, school staff permitted the student to drink hot chocolate. The hot chocolate had been prepared by mixing hot chocolate powder, water, and milk, then heating the mixture in a coffee pot. In cooking the mixture (including the milk) prior to serving it to the student, the district properly implemented the student’s health plan.

The student’s IEP and associated health plan in effect on September 10, 2019, indicated that 911 should be called when the student experienced a clonic (convulsive) seizure. The health plan described the various signs and symptoms associated with atonic, tonic, and clonic seizures. On September 10, 2019, the student experienced two seizures. School staff did not consider either of these seizures to be clonic and consequently did not call 911, instead of providing the other first-aid specified by the student’s health plan. The evidence available to the department confirms the reasonableness of the school staff’s judgment. The district properly implemented the student’s health plan.

This concludes our review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process. These issues may be addressed through other dispute resolutions, including mediation and due process hearings. Visit http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution for more information.

Sincerely,

//signed by BVH 11/1/19
Barbara Van Haren, PhD
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support
dec:pas

For questions about this information, contact DPI Sped Team (608) 266-1781