Upper Perkiomen School District awaits ruling on case of concussed football player

By Karen Kidd | Jun 12, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — A federal court has not yet ruled on an Upper Perkiomen School District request for reversal of a state special education hearing officer's finding in the case of a high school senior who sustained a concussion during sports practice in 2016.

PHILADELPHIA — A federal court has not yet ruled on an Upper Perkiomen School District request for reversal of a state special education hearing officer's finding in the case of a high school senior who sustained a concussion during a sports practice in 2016.

The school district asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to grant its cross-motion for judgment on the administrative record filed April 27. In that cross-motion, the school district asked the court to reverse in part the hearing officer's decision that the injured student be awarded independent educational evaluation at the district's expense, in addition to a compensatory education.

The student, identified in court documents only as D.G., is being represented in the case by his his parents, identified as E.G. and K.G., in their complaint filed with the court on Nov. 22.

In its cross-motion, the school district claimed the hearing officer "correctly found" that D.G. was provided with appropriate accommodations to assist him in his school work and that "the family can point to no additional information or evidence that would prove that the student was not provided with appropriate accommodations."


Upper Perkiomen Superintendent Alexis McGloin   Upper Perkiomen School District

"In addition, the conclusion that the student made meaningful progress during his senior year, albeit different from what may have occurred had he not suffered a concussion, is a proper and legally correct decision based upon the record," the district said in its cross-motion. "Thus, D.G. was not entitled to any compensatory education in this matter."

D.G., who graduated from the school district in June 2017, sustained a concussion during football practice the previous September, according to the complaint filed by his parents. D.G.'s parents allege that the school district failed to provide an appropriate plan to allow him to access curriculum after his concussion caused him to miss "a significant amount of school," and that he "required a number of accommodations" when he did return.

The district maintains that it offered D.G. appropriate services.

A state special education hearing officer, following closed hearings requested by D.G.'s parents last summer, found in favor of D.G.'s parents "on some but not all their claims." In its appeal, the school district asked the district court to reverse in part the hearing officer's findings that the district failed to appropriately evaluate and assess D.G. and denied him a free and appropriate public education. 

The district also asked the district court to overturn the hearing officer's findings that D.G. should be awarded an independent neuropsychological evaluation at the district's expense, as well as a "compensatory education."

In its cross-motion, the district lists details about "the numerous accommodations provided to D.G. to address his concussion symptoms and allow D.G. the opportunity to make the progress required to successfully complete his senior year." 

The district said those accommodations included a shortened school day, no homework, breaks, additional time to complete assignments, no standardized tests, no classroom tests or quizzes, no physical education and limited computer work.

The family "ultimately agreed" to a revision of the accommodations, which made available to D.G. a desktop computer and loaner laptop, additional time to get to classes and status updates from teachers to his parents, the cross-motion said.

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