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If you have questions contact Nicole Proesch, legal counsel for the Department and the State Board,
at 515-281-8661 or nicole.proesch@iowa.gov.
BOOK: 16 
DECISION: 179 
MONTH-YEAR: September - 1998
IN RE: In re Laura B.
APPELLANT: Dr. and Mrs. B
APPELLEE: Pleasant Valley Community School District and Mississippi Bend AEA
KEYWORDS: Special Education/Responsibility for Out of State Placement
FULL TEXT: https://www.educateiowa.gov/documents/appeal-decisions/2014/12/book-16-decision-179 
DETAILS: Appellants position was during Lauras 9th and 10th grades at Pleasant Valley, her education was going downhill rapidly.  She had become a threat to herself and to others; attempted suicide; was a major discipline problem; grades were dropping; and she was facing expulsion from school.  After out-of-state residential treatment Laura did very well. Her parents did not request special education programming or services prior because they did not know they could. The request for relief is compensatory education in the form of additional support services through the early college years for a period of 1 to 3 years; reimbursement of Lauras psychotherapy from March 29, 1995-March 19, 19996; and reimbursement for the cost of the out-of-state residential treatment.
  The school testified it was not aware of the problems that Laura experienced until long after their occurrence. Laura was not identified as requiring special education because "the parents never asked." Laura was a student served in the regular education classroom from K-8th grade. Lauras mother testified that in the second semester of Lauras 9th grade, her parents were very concerned about her low grades and disruptive behavior. They set a meeting with the high school counselor and Lauras problems were discussed. The counselor did not say anything about a possible evaluation. Her emotional state concerning school was one of dread and her emotional state at home was shattered.  Laura and her parents had numerous serious disagreements. She attempted suicide and was hospitalized. She had altercations at school and was suspended.
  Laura was hospitalized in March 1996, following an incident at home involving a gun and threats to the family.  Laura was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder; severe with possible psychotic features.  In April 1996, a court order stated that Laura was to be immediately place n Mt. Pleasant MHI for evaluation and appropriate treatment.  The Court continued to allow family placement at the Wilson Center in Fairbault, Minnesota. The discharge order recommended continuation of individual and family therapy.
  The IDEA process begins with a combination of screening children, providing information to parents and others, and referring those believed to be disabled for evaluation. Schools may not simply rely on parents to request special education services. It is the schools responsibility to identify and place students in need of special education. Compensatory education is recognized as a proper remedy when a child has been denied a free appropriate education. Residential placements may be required under the IDEA when necessary for educational purposes, but a school district is not required to assume the cost of such placement when it is a response to medical, social or emotional problems.
  The residential placement at Wilson Academy was ordered by the Court in an involuntary mental commitment and chosen by the parents as an alternative to the MHI.
OUTCOMES: N/A