How does the use of mediation affect parents other due process rights?
Use of mediation to resolve a parent’s concern does not in any way affect (deny or delay) the parent’s other rights to due process, such as the right to an impartial hearing. A parent can request an impartial hearing at any time before, during, or after the mediation. Requesting an impartial hearing prior to or in the absence of mediation does not constitute that a person has failed to exhaust administrative remedies which has to do with awarding attorneys’ fees in subsequent hearings. Mediation does not diminish or limit the due process rights of a parent, including the right to request an impartial hearing subsequent to mediation (section 4404-a of Education Law). Additionally, a parent may request an impartial hearing after terminating mediation if issues remain unresolved. Is mediation voluntary? Yes. Mediation is voluntary on the part of the parent and school district. What happens if a parent chooses not to use the mediation process? If a parent chooses not to participate in medi