N. E. v. Seattle School District, No. 15-35910 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, parents of a child with a disability, sought a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction requiring the Seattle School District (the district) to place their child in a general education class pending the outcome of the due process challenge. In May 2015, the Bellevue School District produced an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the child that encompassed two stages: The first stage would begin immediately and the second would begin at the start of the 2015–16 school year. Plaintiffs allowed the child to finish the school year in accordance with the first stage of the IEP but did not agree to the second stage. Over the summer, the family moved to Seattle. Just before the start of the 2015–16 school year, the district proposed a class setting for the child that was similar to the second stage of the May 2015 IEP. Plaintiffs objected and sought a “stay-put” placement. The district court denied plaintiffs’ motion on the ground that they had not established a likelihood of success on the merits. The court agreed with the district that a partially implemented, multi-stage IEP, as a whole, is a student’s then-current educational placement. In this case, stage two of the May 2015 IEP was the child's stay-put placement. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.