This video provides a brief overview of due process hearings. Due process hearings are the most common way to resolve differences between you (the parent or guardian) and your child’s school or school district. A due process hearing is effectively a trial, so we encourage you to have an attorney with you when you attend the hearing. You can represent yourself, but you should only do this if you understand the procedures of a trial and can argue your case in the correct manner.
At a due process hearing, an administrative law judge, appointed by the state, takes evidence, hears from witnesses, looks at records, hears arguments from both sides, and makes a decision regarding your case. You (or the school) can appeal that decision. If you file for a due process hearing, then you cannot file a state complaint or a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) until the hearing is resolved. In the next section, we will look at the Code of Federal Regulations regarding due process hearings.