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Irving independent school district v. Tatro
Transcript of Irving independent school district v. Tatro
Setting the Scene
In 1979 Amber Tatro, a three year old from Texas, became eligible for early childhood special education services in her local school district Irving Independent School District. Amber has Spina-bifida, a condition that affects her spinal column and impairs some bodily functions. Amber needs to have a clean intermittent cathereization or CIC performed for her every three to four hours to empty her bladder. This procedure needs to therefore be preformed during school.
Challenges of the Case
The School's Perspective
The school provided the required IEP for Amber at the age of 3 and half.
She was placed in a early childhood program with related services but not for CIC. By age 8 she was moved to a general education classroom.
They believe they provided access to education and that CIC was a medical service that needed to be provided by a licensed physician.
The main concern of the parents were that Amber's IEP did not contain any type of services that included her CIC
After they were informed of this they still sent Amber to school but provided the services that she need at the cost of the family.
The problem with this was that Amber under the Education of the Handicapped Act was suppose to get FAPE and that included related services.
Texas law states that CIC should be prescribed and supervised by a physician. In the district court hearing they interpreted it as a provision of the Education of the Handicapped Act on medical services to mean that "medical services" could be considered a related service only when it is used for purposes of diagnosis or evaluation, which was not the situation for this case.
District Court Hearing
The district court decided that the need for "catherization had nothing to do with Amber's education and that the public school system should not be compelled to provide it" (Maeroff, 1984)
Established the 3 Pronged Bright Line Test
1. Student must qualify for disability before they can receive related services.
2. The services must be required for student to attend school and must be provided during the school day.
3. School nursing services can only be provided if they can be preformed by a nurse or other qualified person.
(Imber and Geel, 2004)
Court of Appeal
Was given the case and accepted the district court's decision.
Appealed to Supreme Court
1984 Supreme Court Hearing
The Supreme Court agreed some of the decision of the lower courts.
They upheld the decision of lower courts as it relates to FAPE and related services. There were also limitations.
They disagreed with the lower courts decision of discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act.
PL 94-142 states that schools can provide medical services to diagnose and evaluate. CIC is not medical procedure. According to the District court under Texas law any qualified person can perform CIC without taking part in unauthorized practice of medicine. Since a doctor was not needed to do CIC it was not a medical procedure and not excludable under the PL 94-143.
Amber Tatro, age 8