Magistrate Judge Austin Recommends Summary Judgment in Educational Disabilities Case

C.L. v. Leander ISD, No. A-12-CV-589-SS, slip op. (W.D. Tex. Dec. 20, 2013)(Austin, M.J.)

In this educational disabilities case, the issue was whether any of the claims over Leander ISD’s handling of bullying and hazing directed at a blind and autistic student warranted trial.  Slip op. at 16.  Previously, Judge Yeakel dismissed all but two causes of action.  Id. at 3.  The remaining claims—under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act—required a showing of intentional discrimination through “‘facts creating an inference of professional bad faith or gross mismanagement.’”  Id. (quoting D.A. ex rel. Latasha A. v. Hous. Indep. Sch. Dist., 629 F.3d 450, 454 (5th Cir. 2010)).  Magistrate Judge Austin detailed each incident, each parental communication with the school district, and the district’s response.  Id. at 6-16.   Concluding that the sum total of this evidence did not suggest bad faith, gross misjudgment, or deliberate indifference, he recommended that case be dismissed on summary judgment.  Id. at 16.