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Portfolio Artifact 5: Special Education

Alexandra Anderl

College of Southern Nevada

EDU 210-1002

Ce Isbell

November 18, 2017


Jonathan is a disabled tenth-grade student whose parents are trying to have him attend a

school. He is mentally disabled, has spastic quadriplegia, and a seizure disorder. Due to his

disorders, Jonathan requires a nurse to give him constant care. Debbie Young is the principal of

the school with a background in special education. She denies the parents request to have their

son placed in the school because of the cost it would take to have him there. Young’s decision

could either be upheld or denied in a court of law based on a few different factors.

Debbie Young’s decision could be upheld when looking at the decisions made in two

similar court cases. In the Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v.

Rowley, the courts decided that is only necessary that a child be given an appropriate education.

The definition of appropriate was that a child be given at least a minimum level of services, not

the absolute best. In the Rowley case, a deaf student was already given a FM hearing aid, a tutor

for an hour a day, and a speech therapist three hours a week. The parents also wanted a sign

language interpreter, but were not granted this request, so they filed. The courts decided that the

interpreter was not needed to have an appropriate education. If Jonathan does require the

constant nursing in order to have that appropriate level of education, and the school is not able to

afford such care, Young would be right in denying his acceptance into the school.

Another case is LT v Warwick School Committee. In this case, the school offered a

classroom using the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-Handicapped

Children technique. The parents instead wanted them to use the Discrete Trial Training

technique, but were not granted this request so they took it to court. The courts decided, again,

that only an appropriate education was required, not what may be considered the best. Young

may be able to offer a nurse that checks up on Jonathan instead of a nurse who is constantly with

him. It is only required that a nurse be there enough for Jonathan to get the appropriate

education. A constant care nurse may give him the best opportunities, but that is not required by


On the other hand, a court may decide to deny Young’s decision and require her to accept

Jonathan into the program. An example is Irving Independent School District v. Tatro. In this

case, a child with spina bifida required Clean Intermittent Catheterizaion (CIC) in order to attend

her classes. Her CIC was considered by the Individuals With Disabilities Improvement Act

(IDEA) as a related service; meaning any service required for a child to benefit from special

education. She could not attend class without the CIC, so the courts ruled that it was a related

service. In Jonathan’s case, he would need to meet three certain criteria to have the nurse be

considered a related service such as: he must require special education under IDEA, the service

must be necessary for him to benefit from the education, and it cannot fall into a specific

exclusion such as physicians’ services or individually prescribed equipment. (Underwood, 2006,

p. 153).

The court case of Cedar Rapids Independent School District v Garret F, helps define was

those excluded medical services are. A quadriplegic student needed one-on-one nursing due to a

ventilator. The parents wanted the district to provide the nursing, and went to court. The courts

decided that because his nursing was required to attend school, it was a related service, not one

of the excluded services. Like this student, if Jonathan’s nurse is a related service that is required

for him to attend school, Young would not be able to deny his attendance to the school. Young

would have to provide the care that is necessary for Jonathan to have an appropriate education.

Based on the information given to me about Jonathan’s circumstance, it is my decision

that Young’s decision would be overturned in a court of law. Jonathan’s care is required in order

for him to attend schooling. While Rowley and Warwick give definitions of appropriate

education, they do not discuss exactly what Jonathan’s appropriate education entails. Because his

nursing is a related service, the cases of Tatro and Garrett conclude that Young would be

required to accept Jonathan into the school and provide him with the proper care he needs in

order to become successful in his special education courses.


Reference Page

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District, Westchester County v.

Amy Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982).

Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garrett F., 526 U.S. 66 (1999).

Irving Independent School District v Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984).

LT v. Warwick School Committee, 361 F.3d 80 (1st Cr. 2004).

Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). School Law for Teachers: Concepts and Applications. Upper

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