Law & Courts A Washington Roundup

High Court Declines Religion Case Appeal

By Caroline Hendrie — November 23, 2004 1 min read

A New Hampshire couple who alleged that the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act violated their rights to religious freedom lost their bid last week for a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court let stand a federal appeals court ruling against the parents of a Roman Catholic elementary school student who argued that the IDEA should afford their son the same legal protections as if he attended a public school.

The parents, identified in court papers as Gary S. and Sylvie S., had been denied an administrative hearing in response to their dissatisfaction with the speech-language services their son received at a public school in Manchester, N.H.

In a ruling in July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, rejected the parents’ claims that the IDEA unconstitutionally requires them to renounce their religious belief in Catholic schooling in order to obtain the full due-process rights that public school parents receive. (“Court Rejects Claim of IDEA Bias Against Private School Student,” July 28, 2004.)

The justices declined without comment on Nov. 15 to hear the parents’ appeal in Gary S. v. Manchester School District (Case No. 04-418.)

A version of this article appeared in the November 24, 2004 edition of Education Week

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