Fry vs. Napoleon Supreme Court Ruling

Originally posted by Edweek.com on the ruling of Fry vs. Napoleon

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday gave a unanimous, but for now partial, victory to the family that sued a Michigan school district under federal disabilities laws after the district barred a service dog for a child with cerebral palsy.

In Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools (Case No. 15-497), the high court held that a student or family suing a school district over a disability-related issue does not always have to go through, or “exhaust,” all the procedures under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act before going to court.

The court held that IDEA procedures need not be exhausted when the essence, or “gravamen,” of a lawsuit centers on a violation of other federal disabilities law rather than the special education law’s core guarantee of a “free, appropriate special education.”

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday unanimously ruled that the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals should reconsider whether Ehlena Fry and her family can sue a Jackson County school district for its decision years ago to tell Ehlena, who has cerebral palsy, that she couldn’t bring her service dog to school.

To read the supreme court ruling visit www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-497_p8k0.pdf