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Special Education Court Cases
Transcript of Special Education Court Cases
#1: Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954)
Overview: This was a Supreme Court case based on school race desegregation.
Ruling: Court declared that education must be made available to all children on equal terms. Later civil rights case law argued that schools may not segregate by race; therefore, schools may not segregate or discriminate by ability or disability.
Impact on SPED: This case set the stage for future court decisions regarding discrimination against students with disabilities. It is the basis for all students having an equal opportunity in education.
Case #2: Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1971)
Case #3: Diana v. California State Board of Education (1970)
Case #4: Mills v. The Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972)
Case #5: Larry P. v. Riles (California) (1979)
Case #6: Board of Education of the Henrick Hudson School System v. Rowley (1982)
Case #7: Honig v. Doe (1988)
Case #8: Irving Independent School District v. Tatro (1984)
Case #9: Hobson v. Hansen (1967)
Case #10: Danny R. R. v. State Board of Education (1989)
Course Mentor Contact Information
LaMorte, M.W. (2005). School law: Cases and concepts (8th ed.). Boston, MA : Pearson
Henley, M., Ramsey, R.S., Algozzine, R.F. (2009). Characteristics of and strategies for teaching students with mild disabilities (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson
Dr. Amy Hughes
(866) 895-9660 Ext. 4920
M: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
T: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
W: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Th: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
F: 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
Overview: Parents sued the state of PA for denying access to school for their disabled children.
Ruling: Judges ruled in favor of PARC, stating that the state could not predetermine educability.
Impact on SPED: Paved the way for progress on admittance into public schools, least restrictive environments, and due process.
Overview: Nine Mexican-American students were placed in classes for students with mild mental retardation based solely on an IQ test that was administered in English.
Ruling: The court ruled that students must be assessed in their native language.
Impact on SPED: Paved the way for evaluation and assessment processes to be provided in the student's native language. IQ testing cannot be the only form of assessment to determine placement.
Overview: Students had been excluded from public schools in Washington, D.C. because of learning and behavior problems. The school district contended that it did not have enough money to provide special education services.
Ruling: Court ruled that the lack of funds is not an excuse for failing to provide services to exceptional children. If sufficient funds were not available, then all programs should be cut back.
Impact on SPED: Highlighted the rights of students to due process in education. Schools could no longer be allowed to violate the 14th Amendment rights of students with disabilities.
Competency 631.4.1: Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Special Education
Competency 631.1.2: Special Education Law and Ethical Issues
Overview: The placement of African-American children in special classes was inappropriate because of unfair testing. The IQ tests that were used failed to recognize the children's cultural background. When different tests were used, the children were found not to be mentally disabled.
Ruling: court ordered that IQ tests could not be used as the sole basis for placing children into special education.
Impact on SPED: Supported the use of more than just IQ testing to qualify for placement in SPED. Supported and ties in with the ruling for Case #3 Diana v. CA.
Overview: Parents requested services that were extremely expensive to support their child rather than the appropriate services the school had in place.
Ruling: The court rules that schools are not required to maximize a student's potential by providing superior services regardless of expense.
Impact on SPED: Schools were able to go with a cheaper option for services if that option was appropriately meeting the needs of the child. Helped schools provide FAPE for other students with disabilities.
Overview: School admin. were tryng to expel (indefinetly) two ED students for their violent and disruptive conduct related to their disabilities.
Ruling:ruled that children with disabilities could not be excluded from school indefinitely for any misbehavior that is "disability-related" but that educational services could cease if the misbehavior is not related to the disability
Impact on SPED: Important case for the implementation of due process and manifestation determininations. It also ensured FAPE was occuring.
Overview: Parents requested that their daughter (who had spina bifida) received catheterization as a related service of her IEP.
Ruling: Court ruled that catheterization was a necessary service for a child with physical disabilities to remain in school, if it could be performed by someone other than a physician. A school district was obligated to provide this service, which would be considered a related service
Impact on SPED: That if special services are needed (medically and otherwise) unless they are to be performed by an expert in that field, the district must provide the services. Regardless of expense.
Overview: Parents said that the school districts failure to place Daniel in a class of non-handicapped students was a violation of the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA)
Ruling: Court ruled that the State Board of Education was providing a free and appropriate education for Daniel with non-handicapped students to the maximum extent appropriate and thus was not a violation of the EHA.
Impact on SPED: Reinforced the concept of LRE and FAPE.
Overview: Students were being placed into "special tracks" based upon race and IQ testing.
Ruling: Court ruled against a tracking system in which children were placed into either regular or special education classes according to intelligence test scores.
Impact on SPED: Made way for placing students in LRE, equal assessment processes and placement based on individual needs, not outside issues (envirnoment, race, economic factors).
Study Plan Connection: