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Friday • July 24, 2020
HCPSS Redistricting Special Needs Exemption Appeal Trial – PART 5 – Witness Impeachment
Included below is Part 5 in a series of testimony given at one of the 2019 HCPSS school redistricting appeal trials held last week on July 15, 2020. This trial involves three appellants challenging the 2019 HCPSS school redistricting based on how IEP & 504 exemptions were handled for students after the redistricting vote was finalized.
In this audio clip, the appellant’s attorney, Lorraine Whittaker, continues to question the HCPSS Specialist for Residency & Reassignment, who was responsible for evaluating students’ requests for exemptions from redistricting due to their 504 or IEP plans:
At the beginning of this segment, the witness claims that it is not appropriate to consider whether a students’ parent is an appellant in an appeal to the State Board of Education regarding a redistricting appeal when deciding upon a student’s redistricting exemption request and that she had not done so.
However, by the end of this exchange (at 5 minutes 40 seconds in this clip), the witness ends up actually admitting that this had occurred after email evidence is introduced that is counter to her original claims. When the appellant’s attorney states,
“So it would appear by your own statement to Dr Blosser that you were concerned about my client being an appellant with the state BOE with the redistricting decision on 11/21/19”
The witness states “Correct” to this statement before the defense chimes in with an “objection” to claim that the witness had already answered the question (previously as ‘incorrect’).
The supporting letter discussed in this clip was submitted as impeachment evidence.
This letter significantly weakened the credibility of the witness due to this flip-flopping testimony.
Audio clips 1 & 2 can be found in Part 1 of this series.
In Part 1, it was revealed that social media activity by parents is considered “fair game” for HCPSS central office staff when evaluating whether or not to grant a redistricting exemption to a student with an IEP or 504 plan.
Audio clips 3 & 4 can be found in Part 2 of this series.
In Part 2, it was revealed that HCPSS central office staff consulted the confidential information of a student’s 504 or IEP plan as they made determinations for redistricting exemptions solely because their supervisors allowed them to and assisted them in doing so, despite the fact that no legal authority existed for this invasive maneuver in HCPSS Policy 9000.
Audio clip 5-7 can be found in Part 3 of this series.
In Part 3, the defense reveals that it had been granted access to the details of the appellant’s son’s 504 plan by proceeding to read these details in open court and reveals that it had been privy to confidential information that the family had requested an IEP meeting for their daughter.
Audio clip 8-11 can be found in Part 4 of this series.
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