Even before kindergarten, officials in Rafael’s district recommended placing him in a segregated classroom – in a different district over an hour from his home. After initial objections, Rafael’s parents reached a compromise with the school, allowing limited amounts of inclusion. Unfortunately, without adequate supports, the efforts to include Rafael failed.
The district again recommended a segregated placement outside the district, and the Obertis again objected – this time filing a request for a due process hearing. The parents reached an agreement with the district, accepting their recommended placement in return for a promise to explore ways to include Rafael in the regular classroom. However, Rafael’s parents quickly found that the district was making no effort to move Rafael out of his segregated classroom, and that Rafael had no contact with nondisabled students during the school day.
In January of 1991, the Obertis brought another due process complaint asking that Rafael be placed in a regular class in his neighborhood elementary school.