Parents of a disabled student in Whitehall schools are taking a dispute with their daughter's district to federal court.
And this week, the school district responded by filing its own federal lawsuit against the girl's parents.
In November, a state administrative law judge ruled 10-year old Anna Bernhardt should attend her home school Ealy Elementary in Whitehall.
The judge's decision followed a four-day hearing in September where school staff testified about Anna's specific needs and classroom behavior.
Anna's parents Justina and Lance Bernhardt asked a judge to overturn a decision by Whitehall school administrators to send Anna to the Wesley School in Muskegon.
Wesley School is a centralized special education facility operated by the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District.
Anna has a terminal illness called Sanfilippo Syndrome.
The administrative law judge's ruling required Ealy Elementary to develop a new individualized education plan for Anna.
In a federal complaint filed last week, Justina and Lance Bernhardt claim the school has not completed the IEP plan. The judge order it to be done within 30 days of his ruling in November.
The parents are asking a federal judge to instruct the district to complete the plan. The suit also seeks reimbursement for $51,000 in legal fees and costs.
The lawsuit accuses the school district of engaging in a long-standing campaign of harassment against Anna, and claims her siblings who also attend Whitehall schools have been retaliated against.
This week a lawyer representing the Whitehall School District and the Whitehall School Board filed an opposing complaint in federal court.
The school's complaint asks a federal judge to overrule the state judge's ruling based on errors of fact and law the suit claims the judge made.
The school also wants a federal court ruling that would remove any of the liability the district has relating to paying the family's legal costs.
WZZM 13 News made e-mails and phone calls to the parties and the lawyers listed in court records.
Neither side responded to requests for comment.
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