DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — A lawsuit filed by Dothan City Schools asking a judge to once again remove a student from the classroom is being moved to the federal court in Alabama.
The lawsuit names the affected student as “J.C.”, who suffers from Attention-Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and is protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
According to the lawsuit, in December, “J.C.” was expelled from Dothan High School following a multitude of alleged wrongdoings committed by the student.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday, May 12, states that over multiple months “J.C.” left class and school campus without permission, used tobacco on campus, used profanity on multiple occasions, was involved in fights, made at least two gestures suggesting violence towards students and staff, and more. These actions resulted in multiple in-school suspensions, suspensions, and time in alternative schools.
In November, a manifestation determination (MDR) was held and attended by special education teachers, administrative staff, and general curriculum teachers, and in December, a school tribunal officially expelled “J.C.” for 12 months.
In March, a Hearing Officer found that the school district violated “J.C.’s” rights by expelling him, and a judge reinstated him as a full-time student and ordered the employment of an outside specialist, according to the lawsuit.
Dothan City Schools is now asking that Judge Kevin Moulton expel “J.C.” once again due to his past behavior.
As a matter of law, the Administrative Law Judge abused its discretion when it erroneously ruled that the District violated IDEA when it expelled J.C. based upon the behaviors presented to the MDR proceedings.Dothan City School’s Complain
The school district also says the 16-year-old student is not entitled to any relief under IDEA or the Alabama Administrative Code.
Judge Moultin has not made a ruling or set a court date.
DCS is represented by attorneys Dustin Fowler and Stephen Etheridge. Fowler declined to comment on the matter.