The Swier Law Firm Education Law FAQs
Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.
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Can a parent challenge inclusion of an IEP Team member invited by the school?
A parent can challenge a member that the school has invited, but the parent’s objection will not control. While it may be best for everyone involved to find someone else to attend in the person’s stead, the U.S. DOE has noted that a parent can refuse to provide consent only for the public agency to invite other agencies that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services. “A parent may not exclude any of the required members of the IEP Team.”
71 Fed. Reg. 46673 (2006).
Are schools and parents allowed to be represented by attorneys at IEP meetings?
The U.S. DOE has responded to this question as follows:
"[The IDEA] authorizes the addition to the IEP team of other individuals at the discretion of the parent or the public agency only if those other individuals have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child. The determination of whether an attorney possesses knowledge or special expertise regarding the child would have to be made on a case-by-case basis by the parent or public agency inviting the attorney to be a member of the team.
The presence of the agency’s attorney could contribute to a potentially adversarial atmosphere at the meeting. The same is true with regard to the presence of an attorney accompanying the parents at the IEP meeting. Even if the attorney possessed knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, an attorney’s presence would have the potential for creating an adversarial atmosphere that would not necessarily be in the best interests of the child. Therefore, the attendance of attorneys at IEP meetings should be strongly discouraged."
64 Fed.Reg. 12478 (1999).
What is required of a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) under IDEA?
A FIE must consist of procedures "to determine whether a child is a child with a disability [as defined by IDEA]" and "to determine the educational needs of such child."
What is a Full and Individual Evalution (FIE)?
Under IDEA, a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) requires a school district to "conduct a full and individual initial evaluation . . . before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability."
In South Dakota, are school board elections partisan or non-partisan?
In South Dakota, school board members are elected on a non-partisan basis.
May a school district require the random drug testing of students who participate in extracurricular activities?
Yes. In Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 536 U.S. 822 (2002), the Supreme Court held that mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of public high school students participating in extracurricular activities is a constitutionally reasonable intrusion that furthers a public school’s legitimate interest in deterring drug use among children.
The Supreme Court further found that a public school does not need to demonstrate a pervasive drug problem among the population subject to testing to warrant the intrusion. In sum, the Supreme Court determined that the government’s compelling interest in preventing and eradicating drug use among children outweighs the limited privacy expectations held by public middle and high school students.
In South Dakota, can a public school district employee lose his job if he runs for public office?
No. Under South Dakota law, no employee of a public school can lose his job or job status for becoming a candidate for any public office if it does not entail neglect of duty.
In South Dakota, who has supervision over school libraries?
The secretary of education has supervision over school libraries.
Do South Dakota's public schools have to permit military and National Guard recruiters access to students?
Yes. Any public secondary school accredited by the South Dakota Department of Education, and any public postsecondary school, located in South Dakota, must permit active duty and reserve duty military recruiters or South Dakota National Guard military recruiters reasonable access to school facilities and students, at reasonable times and at reasonable places, for the purposes of providing information about military careers and benefits.
In South Dakota, can a student that is expelled or suspended in one school district enroll in another school district before the expulsion or suspension has expired?
No. Under South Dakota law, if a student is under suspension or expulsion in a school district, the student cannot enroll in any school district until the suspension or expulsion has expired.