The US Supreme Court Tuesday reversed a ruling in favor of a deaf student who filed suit against his school district for not providing him with proper interpreters. The court first heard oral arguments on the case, Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, on January 18.
In its decision, the court found that, based on §1415(l) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Miguel Luna Perez was free to seek relief in whatever way he saw fit, regardless of whether he exhausted all administrative procedures available to him for relief. The court remanded the case back to the lower court and instructed that the court determine if Perez is entitled to relief.
The case arose when Perez, a student in the Michigan Sturgis Public School District for 11 years, claimed the school district failed to provide him with a proper education under IDEA by providing him with inadequate interpreters and misrepresenting his educational progress. Perez claimed that, as a result, the school district did not allowing him to graduate.
Perez filed an administrative complaint, as required by IDEA, and reached a settlement with the school district. However, after the settlement, Perez filed suit in federal court. The district court dismissed the suit, finding that Perez did not exhaust all administrative procedures available to him. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court. Tuesday’s ruling now reverses that ruling, sending the case back down to the district court for reconsideration.