Court Grants TRO in Favor of Student with Disability Seeking In-Person Instruction

Oct 22, 2020 | Advocacy, Covid-19, FAPE

In the latest case challenging a lack of face-to-face instruction, Hernandez v. Lujan Griffin, a parent of a student with an IEP brought a lawsuit against the state of New Mexico challenging a health directive mandating virtual instruction for her child’s district. Plaintiff asserts that during virtual learning her child’s IEP has not been fully implemented, the child has regressed, and is failing several courses.

On October 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico granted the parent’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO), finding a likelihood of success on the IDEA claims. The court held that the student is entitled to FAPE, and that this “might include” small group in-person instruction – which is permitted by state guidance – with safety measures. However, the Court stated that it was not likely to certify a class of parents of students with disabilities.

There were also other plaintiffs with children without disabilities. They didn’t get very far.