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Stanek v. St. Charles Community Unit School District #303

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 9, 2015

MATTHEW STANEK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
ST. CHARLES COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #303, et al., Defendants-Appellees

Submitted: February 23, 2015.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 13-cv-3106 -- John W. Darrah, Judge.

For Matthew Stanek, Plaintiff - Appellant: Matthew Stanek, St. Charles, IL.

Bogdan Stanek, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, St. Charles, IL.

Sandra Stanek, Plaintiff -- Appellant, Pro se, St. Charles, IL.

For Saint Charles Community Unit School District #303, DONALD SCHLOMANN, Dr., Superintendent, JOHN KNEWITZ, Dr., Assistant Superintendent, BETH JONES, Associate Director of Special Education, KORIE BOWERS, Special Education Case Manager, Defendants - Appellees: Michelle A. Todd, Attorney, Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn, Peoria, IL.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and ROVNER and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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Wood, Chief Judge.

Matthew Stanek, now 20 years old, is autistic. While he was a high school student in the St. Charles Community Unit School District #303 (" the District" ), he received special-education services. Although he is now in college, he and his parents, Bogdan and Sandra Stanek, still have some accounts to settle with the District. Invoking their rights under the federal Constitution and several laws, they have sued both the District and various administrators and teachers for failing to provide necessary educational services to Matthew before his graduation. The district court dismissed the action against Bogdan and Sandra on the theory that they lack standing to sue. Although Matthew did have standing, the court dismissed his case for failure to sue an appropriate party. We conclude that some of these rulings do not withstand scrutiny. We therefore vacate the dismissal in part and remand for further proceedings.

I

Our recitation of the facts relies upon the Staneks' complaint, accepting as true their factual allegations and drawing all

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reasonable inferences in their favor. See Virnich v. Vorwald, 664 F.3d 206, 212 (7th Cir. 2011). Matthew was an A and B honors student through his sophomore year in the District. He achieved this performance with the help of the accommodations specified in his Individualized Education Program (" IEP" ), which provided for a variety of services to address his social and communicative deficits. For example, it allowed him extra time to complete tests and homework and required teachers to provide him with study guides. But when Matthew entered his junior year of high school, several of his teachers stopped giving him study guides or extra time. They justified this action with the argument that it was wrong to provide study guides in advanced classes and that the extra ...


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