E.J., H.S., and DLC et al v. Salt Lake City School District (Filed December 1, 2021 in federal district court)

E.J., H.S, each sought to receive special education services at their neighborhood school, but were denied the opportunity to receive special education services at their home schools. As a result, the Plaintiffs initiated due process complaints under the IDEA to challenge the District’s placement decisions. After receiving unfavorable decisions at the administrative level, E.J., H.S., and the DLC filed a case in federal court.

The complaint asserts claims of discrimination under the ADA, Rehab Act, and IDEA alleging that SLCSD discriminates against students with intellectual and developmental disabilities by denying them access to their neighborhood schools, and by forcing them to access special education in “hub schools” with higher concentrations of children with disabilities. On March 31st Judge Parrish dismissed the case in its entirety for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

The DLC team has reviewed the decision and find the analysis to be quite concerning and potentially far-reaching. We have consulted with our clients, and will likely be pursuing an appeal to the Tenth Circuit.