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Posted on April 24th, 2014, by

Seeking to overview some topic from school law field that took place in Westfield School district in past, the institution of Handicapped Children education seems to be the most relevant in the aspect of happened trials. The New Jersey has witnessed several profile cases that addressed numerous legal issues of appropriate field.  One of them was Seymour Wexler and Daisy Wexler, individually and on Behalf of their child, Douglas Wexler, Appellants, v. Westfield board of education, Appellee, – No. 84-5886., 784 F.2d 176 (1986). Obviously, this case did not address the entire amount of concerns and legal issues connected to the institution of Handicapped Children education care. However, it still remains incredibly interesting for analysis, discussion and overview, considering its pretty without parallel legal nature.

Speaking about the circumstances of the case under review, we should mention that Douglas Wexler was identified as a handicapped child in 1968. Westfield New Jersey Board of Education placed him at the Midland School. Later, in 1972 tests were carried out by outside experts and Westfield’s Child Study Team, the authority obliged for evaluating handicapped students and recommending and making available “a free public education” as required by the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA). As an outcome of appropriate tests, Douglas was reclassified as mentally-retarded educable, and the special Individualized Educational Program (IEP) was developed for him. The Child Study Team recommended his placement in the Intermediate Educable Class at the Tamaques School. Complainants objected appropriate changes of placement and classification.  In 1976, on the basis of further evaluations, the Child Study Team re-identified Douglas’ state once again to “Multiply Handicapped: Primary–Mentally Retarded-Educable; Secondary–Neurologically Impaired,” but did not change its recommended placement by leaving it the same Tamaques School. By 1980, Douglas’ parents had transferred him to the Maplebrook School in unilateral manner. At last, in late 1981, the Child Study Team reclassified Douglas, on the basis of test and examinations conducted on November 1980, as “Neurologically or Perceptually Impaired: Perceptually Impaired” and recommended new placement at Maplebrook with costs to be assumed by Westfield. An IEP was developed and agreed upon on March 11, 1981, and revised in September, 1981. Douglas was graduated from Maplebrook School in the spring of 1982 and received a diploma from the Westfield Public Schools. From this point, Westfield Board of Education claims that its responsibility for Douglas’ education is terminated. On September 1982, the claimants placed Douglas in the Summit Collegiate Studies Center in Jerusalem (Israel), without Westfield Education board consent, and any type of official approval at all. The period of Douglas study in Israel will play the most relevant role to this paper (Wexler v. Westfield board of education, Appellee, – No. 84-5886., 784 F.2d 176 (1986)).

As for Wrexlers’ claims, the list of them had next look 1) contention that the district court employed an improper standard of review; 2) improper classification and placement of Douglas Wrexler till 1981; 3) Wrexlers’ claims to reimbursement for Douglas’ post-graduation tuition and transportation expenses to Jerusalem, Israel. Let’s mention promptly that no one of Wrexlers’ claims was satisfied. As for the first two of them, they are not really relevant to this paper as judicial arguments were mostly based on procedural nuances, and were mostly similar to conclusions of district court judgments. However, the last one from the list looks pretty interesting for discussion.  Giving appropriate claim Wrexlers referred to section 1412(2)(B) of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA).

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