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PORFOLIO 5 ASSIGNMENT 1

Portfolio 5 Assignment

Sarah Green

College of Southern Nevada


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The parents of a severely disabled son named Jonathan approached Debbie Young about

having Jonathan attend one of the schools in the district. Jonathan suffers from spastic

quadriplegia and a seizure disorder. His condition requires care from a trained nurse at all times.

Young is currently a high school principal with a special education background as a teacher and

past experience as an assistant principal in an affluent school in the south. She refuses the parents

request for their son to attend one of her schools. Her reasoning is that it would be a big expense

and the school is not equipped to meet Jonathans needs. Youngs decision could be defended but

the parents also have valid reasons to fight her decision.

Young has violated the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA)

(Underwood, 2006, p. 141). The EHA entitles all handicapped children to a free and appropriate

education and have changed to include a wide variety of disabilities. Board of education v.

Rowley (1982) is a case that impacted the change in school districts and applied the regulations

that school need to follow in regards to taking in disabled children (Underwood, 2006, p. 143).

The Rowley case states that the school does not have to provide the best education it just has to

be beneficial to the student by means of improvement. Because of that case schools are no longer

allowed to discriminate against disabled children. Over time the laws have also created

procedures that schools must follow such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

(IDEA), Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Underwood, ch.8)

Much like the case Steven L. v. LeMahieu, Youngs decision means she failed to provide

appropriate services and has denied a child their right of a free public education. It is a direct
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violation of Section 504. One of Youngs reasoning for denying the parents request was because

it would be an enormous expense for the school. It would be expensive but it is the responsibility

to the school according to Irving Independent School District v. Tatro 468 U.S.883 (1984)

(Underwood, p. 153). The case establishes that if a service is necessary for the disabled child to

remain in the classroom then the school must provide it.

In defense of Youngs decision she has a point when she claims that the school is not the

most appropriate placement for Jonathan. There is no need for a child to attend a school that is

not qualified to meet the needs of a disabled child. The reasoning was established based of the

case of Mclaughlin v. Holt Public Schools (Underwood, p. 155). Youngs special education

training makes her capable of making that sort of decision. It would be unfair to Jonathan if he

attended a school that was not qualified to meet his specific needs.

In the case of Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Board of Education 471

U.S. 359 (1985) Young is making the right decision by keeping Jonathan from attending her

schools (WrightsLaw). As previously mentioned she is qualified to make decisions regarding

what kind of education or placement would meet Jonathans needs. She knows her schools, the

teachers and their abilities. Her decision is helping Jonathan and his parents in the long run. The

decision is avoiding any future claims that parents want to make regarding how the school did

not provide their son with an appropriate education.

On the basis of Rowley and LeMahieu, failure to provide disabled children with the FAPE

(Free and Appropriate Education) they are entitled to is a violation of Section 504. These cases
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prove that the courts have upheld the parents of disabled children in their fight for a suitable

special education free of cost if necessary. Young and her schools should be prepared for special

education cases. If the school is not prepared then they must be trained to be better suited to

handle such cases. Young, having a special education background is just what Jonathan needs to

provide him with the education he deserves.


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References

Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Board of Education. 471 U.S. 359 (1985) (n.d.).

Special Education Caselaw from U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals and Federal District

Courts - Wrightslaw.com. Retrieved November 27, 2014, from http://www.wrightslaw.com/

caselaw.htm

Steven L. v. LeMahieu. (n.d.). Civil Rights Division Educational Opportunities Cases Summary

Page. Retrieved November 26, 2014, from http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/documents/

casesummary.php#LeMahieu

Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). Board of Education v. Rowley (1982), Education of Students

with Disabilities. In School law for teachers: Concepts and applications (p. 143). Upper

Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/ Merrill Prentice Hall.

Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). EHA, Education of Students with Disabilities. In School law

for teachers: Concepts and applications (p. 141). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/

Merrill Prentice Hall.

Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). Irving Independent School District v. Tatro 468 U.S.883

(1984), Education of Students with Disabilities. In School law for teachers: Concepts and

applications (p. 153). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/ Merrill Prentice Hall.
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Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). Mclaughlin v. Holt Public School, Education of Students

with Disabilities. In School law for teachers: Concepts and applications (p. 155). Upper

Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/ Merrill Prentice Hall.