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Honig v. Doe 1988

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Amber Z

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of Honig v. Doe 1988

Honig v. Doe 1988
So what happened?
After choking a fellow student, John Doe was suspended for 5 days. The principal then referred Doe to the Student Placement Center (SPC) be expelled from the school. On the day his suspension was supposed to end, the SPC informed Doe's mother that they were proposing to expel his son, so they extended his suspension until a hearing could take place. "Doe brought this suit against a host of local school officials and the state superintendent of public education. Alleging that the suspension and proposed expulsion violated the EHA (Education of the Handicapped Act), he sought a temporary restraining order cancelling the SPC hearing and requiring school officials to convene an IEP meeting." He was provided with home tutoring until the case was resolved, and was allowed to return to his school 24 school days later.
After hearing of Doe's case, Smith and his grandparents decided to take action after Smith was suspended for making lewd comments and referred for expulsion. "The District Judge found that the proposed expulsions and indefinite suspensions of respondents for conduct attributable to their disabilities deprived them of their congressionally mandated right to a free appropriate public education, as well as their right to have that education provided in accordance with the procedures set out in the EHA." Because of this Smith was allowed to return to his previous placement at school, unless otherwise agreed upon by him family and the local educational agency.
Bibliography
Bartlett, Larry. "Disciplining Handicapped Students: Legal Issues in Light of Honig v. Doe." Exceptional Children 55.4 (1989): 10. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
"Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw." Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
"Impact Newsletter: Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: Promoting Positive Outcomes." Impact Newsletter: Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: Promoting Positive Outcomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
"Special Education Laws." AT Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
Weishaar, Mary Konya. Case Studies in Special Education Law: No Child Left Behind Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.
Argued: November 9, 1987
Decided: January 20, 1988
Students involved:
John Doe
Jack Smith
Emotional disabilities
Aggressive tendencies
Suspended for 5 days, then recommended for expulsion
17 years old
"socially and physically awkward"
Reacted in explosive manner expected according to the IEP
Choked a student with enough force to leave abrasions on his neck
2nd grade student
Physically and emotionally abused as a child
Experiences extreme hyperactivity and low self-esteem
Stole, extorted money from peers, made sexual comments to female classmates
Bartlett, Larry. "Disciplining Handicapped Students: Legal Issues in Light of Honig v. Doe." Exceptional Children 55.4 (1989): 10. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
John Doe and Jack Smith and families
versus
Bill Honig, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the San Francisco Unified School District
Prior to 1975 and EHA...

So the question is can schools use expulsion as a disciplinary tool for students with disabilities whose behavior is a direct result of the disability?
This was the first case to reach the Supreme Court regarding discipline of students with disabilities.

"Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw." Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
What is the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (EHA)?
ePresentation by: Amber Zimay
Why is this important for teachers?

Let's say....Micheal is a student with an emotional and behavior disorder in your general education class. Micheal hit another student during the passing period because that student was teasing him. This is not the first fight that Micheal has gotten in this month, so the school decides to suspend him for 10 days. Micheal's IEP team meets and reviews his IEP. They decide that it is best for Micheal to stay in his current placement with a revision of goals. This means that Micheal is coming back to your classroom.
It is now your job to teach a student who may be angry about his suspension and being back in school. What can you do to support Micheal, who you know is an emotional student and has violent tendencies?

This is a very difficult case for everyone involved. Both students have supports in place to help them succeed, but their disability continues to get the best of them.
It is understandable that the principals and schools would want to expel these students because they want to ensure the safety of all of their students.
As a parent, I would question if another setting would be more appropriate for my child or what I could do to prevent this from happening in the future.
However, I understand the importance of keeping the child in the least restrictive environment and would want the student to stay with their peers in the same school that they are accustomed to.
Discipline was not addressed in IDEA until the 1997 reauthorization

Before discipline was addressed in IDEA, "school districts relied on case law, state law, and "best practice" in disciplining students with disabilities."
Weishaar, Mary Konya. Case Studies in Special Education Law: No Child Left Behind Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.
Passed in 1975
Guarantees a free and public education to all children with disabilities (ages 5-21)
Develops an IEP for each student eligible for special education
To the maximum extent possible, students will be educated in the least restrictive environment
Parent procedural safeguards were put in place so that parents had right to participate in every aspect of their child's education (evaluation, IEP meetings, LRE, etc.)
"Stay put" provision which states that a child will remain in current educational placement, unless the parents and LEA agree on a change

More than half of the country's 8 million students with disabilities were not receiving appropriate educational services
1 out of 8 of these students were excluded from the public school system completely
Just prior to the passing of EHA, 82% of all children with emotional disabilities were not having their educational needs met
"Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw." Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
"Special Education Laws." AT Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
Litigants
"Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw." Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988) - Wrightslaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
The answer is no. Under EHA and IDEA, there are procedural safeguards set in place so that students are not expelled because of behavior related to their disability. Students can be suspended for up to 10 days, without review of the IEP or making placement changes, but on the 11th day students must return to their previous placement unless the IEP team (including the parents) agree upon a change in placement. If the student is suspended for over 10 days, the IEP team must meet, review and change the student's goals, and provide appropriate services to the student outside of school so that he/she can continue to make progress in the general curriculum and towards IEP goals.
In my opinion...
For students with emotional and behavioral disorders, it is important to focus on strengths instead of deficits. Let the student know what they are doing right, instead of criticizing them for being wrong, which may cause them to have a violent outburst. Teachers need to constantly be thinking about prevention and ways to avoid these outbursts from occurring. Keeping students actively engaged in low-risk environments is one way to make students feel comfortable and reduce the possibility of getting upset. All of the student's teachers need to be aware and agree upon a plan to deal with the student's aggressiveness. This way the student has clear expectations and knows that these will not change throughout the day. Although providing supports for a child with an emotional disability presents many challenges, if the teacher has a strong plan set in place, it is possible for the student to succeed in the general education classroom.
"Impact Newsletter: Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: Promoting Positive Outcomes." Impact Newsletter: Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: Promoting Positive Outcomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
About this case..
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