Star-News: McCall School Violated Federal Law in Services for Disabled Student

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The McCall-Donnelly School District has been cited by state inspectors for violating federal laws in connection with required services for a 15-year-old student diagnosed with non-verbal autism.

This week's McCall Star-News reports that Kristi Pedersen, the mother of the M-D High School sophomore, lodged six complaints against the district and three of them were found to be valid by a state investigator, including: 

- The student was not able to attend general classroom sessions for an adequate period of time on alternating days.
- Monthly occupational therapy consultation was not on-schedule.
- The high school was unable to produce documentation of efforts to prevent the student from running away.

But the Star-News reports that three other claims were unfounded, according to a state study.

Pedersen says the school district has imposed a district-wide policy for observing students that targets her son. The district now requires two forms to be submitted at least a day in advance for a student's observation; that observation is limited to one hour; and no photos, video or audio record of the observation is permitted. Additionally, the observer cannot communicate with any students. Pedersen said the new rule was put into place after she requested that a consultant sit in a class for her son. The boy has been a student in M-D schools since age 3.