The parents of a 13-year-old Mt. Ararat Middle School student who has autism and intellectual disabilities are challenging the school district's decision to block them from sending their son to school with an audio recording device.
The school district is fighting the parents' proposal, saying it's not conducive to providing educational services and poses a threat to the privacy of other students and school staff.
A hearing made public by the parents started last week and is scheduled to continue Monday.
Jane Quirion had notified SAD 75's attorney in March that she intended to send her son, Ben, a seventh-grader who is nonverbal, to school with an audio recorder in an effort to keep him safe and to ensure that school staff were complying with the terms of Ben's individualized educational plan, known as an IEP.
Ben's father, Matthew Pollack, who is a lawyer, said the response from the school's attorney was jolting.
The attorney threatened to bar Ben from school if he were equipped with a live audio recorder, Pollack said.
"They claimed it wasn't discipline. He just wouldn't be allowed in," he said.
The school's attorney said it would have constituted a crime, as well as a violation of school policy, Pollack said. The attorney added that it would have violated the school's collective bargaining agreement with the teaching staff, Pollack said.