Ruling that Dangerous Student May Be Suspended Pending Psychiatric Evaluation Not Disturbed

Roslyn Union Free Sch. Dist. v. Geffrey W., 293 A.2d 662 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002), cert. denied, Waxman v. Roslyn Union Free Sch. Dist., 123 S. Ct. 2077 (2003); 71(44) U.S. Law Week 3719 (May 20, 2003)

The Supreme Court declined to review a decision by a New York appellate court that upheld the suspension of a public school student from school and his placement in homebound instruction pending the completion of a psychiatric evaluation of the student and review by the school district's committee on special education.  Under New York law, a school district may not unilaterally change a student's placement from regular instruction to homebound instruction while proceedings to determine whether the student is disabled are pending, even when a student poses a danger to himself or others. However, the New York appellate court determined a school district is entitled to seek a judicial ruling to extend a student's suspension upon a showing that maintaining the student in his current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others.  The New York court found that such a showing had been made when it was undisputed that the student had without permission run out of classrooms and school buildings dangerously close to the Long Island Expressway, chased other students in the classroom, hit teachers and students with either a folder or crumpled paper, and chewed on sharp objects while leaning back in his chair....

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1