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Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5


Special Education
Jaime Hoonsan
The College of Southern Nevada

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

Scenario:
Debbie Young is an accomplished high school principal. She has worked in
administrative positions and as a special education teacher in a dynamic, upscale school district
in the South. Ms. Young was contacted by the parents of a seriously handicapped student, to have
their son, Jonathan attend school regularly at a school located in her district. Johnathan has
numerous disabilities, which require constant supervision by a trained health care professional.
Johnathan is extremely mentally disabled, has spastic quadriplegia, as well as a seizure disorder.
Ms. Young denies the parental request because of the large cost and personal opinion that this
school setting is not the most opportune setting for Johnathans education. Is Youngs decision
defensible? Why or why not?
Pro-Support:
McLaughlin v. Holt Public Schools 320 F.3d 663 (6th Cir.2003) demonstrated that a
school district must provide an education in the least restrictive environment, and that the chosen
learning environment must be the one which will best suit the needs of the child. This case
involved Emma McLaughlin, a kindergarten student with downs syndrome. Her original IEP
placed Emma in a school outside of her zoned district. Emmas parents filed suit claiming that
the school in her district could accommodate Emmas learning needs in a resource room.
Originally, the courts ruled against the McLaughlin family, who exercised their due process
rights. The courts ultimately found that Emma could attend school in an inclusive program at her
home school, Dimondale Elementary. This case bears similarities to the Debbie Young case
because both cases involve special needs students that are seeking a free and appropriate
education which may or may not come in the form of attending school in their own

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

neighborhood. According to the verdict in this case, Debbie Youngs decision is defensible
because the law clearly states that education is to be provided in the least restrictive environment
possible and in the environment which is best suited to meet the needs of the child. While we do
not have the same information that Debbie Young would have had on the other types of
classroom settings that would be available to Johnathan, an assumption can be made that there
are other classrooms which might be a better fit for Johnathans needs.
LT v. Warwick School Committee demonstrated that a school must provide an
appropriate education to a student in the terms that it are defined under federal law and that
parents/guardians do not have the right to a choice of program of preference. This case involved
N.B., a 7 year old autistic student who had recently moved to the Warwick School area. N.B.s
parents arranged a meeting with school officials who developed an IEP for N.B. N.B.s mother
objected to the IEP stating that the techniques which were to be implemented had not been
efficient at his previous school and wanted the school to use different techniques to help her son
learn. The parents enrolled in another school and filed suit. The courts ruled against them stating
that under The IDEA, a school is held liable to provide an appropriate education. A school is not
liable to meet the preferences or the techniques per parental request. This case is similar to the
Debbie Young case because in both cases, parents made requests for placements/techniques to be
used which do not fall under the umbrella of coverage in The IDEA. According to the verdict in
this case, Debbie Youngs decision is defensible because the parental request for attendance at a
particular school may not have been what was appropriate for Johnathans education.
Con-Support:

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

According to Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia 388 F. Supp. 866
(1972), a child who is eligible for public education must be included in regular public school
assignments, unless there is are special education services which will fill that childs needs. This
case further states that public education is to be provided regardless of the degree of disability.
The case involved 6 special education children in the District of Colombia who were ostracized
from school because of their disabilities. Their parents filed suit and the courts ruled in their
favor. This case is similar to Debbie Youngs case because both cases involve children with
disabilities who were denied requests for education. Based on the ruling in this case, regardless
of Ms. Youngs personal opinion, Johnathan should have been provided with a free and public
education and Ms. Youngs decision is non-defensible.
Sacramento City Unified School District v. Holland 786 F. Supp. 874 (1992)
demonstrated that whenever possible, a child must be educated in the least restrictive
environment possible, calling into question all alternative placements, cost factors the benefits of
social/emotional interaction with other students, as well as the effect that having a child with a
disability in the classroom will have on the other students and teacher. This case involved Rachel
Holland, a 9 year old girl who is moderately mentally retarded. Rachel was receiving only 1 hour
per day of time in an integrated classroom. Her parents requested that she receive a full time
placement in a regular classroom, but their request was denied. Rachels family filed suit and the
case was ruled in their favor. The best possible placement for Rachel was in a regular second
grade classroom, and to receive a few special education benefits. This case bears similarities to
the Debbie Young case because like Jonathan, Rachels right to be educated in an inclusive

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

classroom was not met by the school. The ruling in this case shows that Debbie Youngs decision
is not defensible.
Final Paragraph:
As an educator who has been well seasoned, Debbie Young is no stranger to the fact that
schools each have their own characteristics. Not every school is the opportune environment for
certain students, special education or not. Ms. Young made a judgment call based upon her years
of experience, knowledge of her staff, their education, the cost effectiveness involved. As an
educator familiar with special education, Ms. Young probably also has knowledge of other
schools as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their programs. Based upon all of the
aforementioned factors, Debbie Young decided to deny the parental request for Johnathan to
attend her school. Based upon the cases McLaughlin v. Holt Public Schools 320 F.3d 663 (6th
Cir.2003), and LT v. Warwick School Committee, Ms. Young had every right to do so.

Education 210 Portfolio Artifact #5

References:
Find Law (2003, February 23). Retrieved from Find Law for Legal Professionals:
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1253429.html
Find Law (2004, March 18). Retrieved from Find Law for Legal Professionals:
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1241530.html
Leagle, Inc (1972, August 1). Retrieved from Leagle.net:
http://www.leagle.com/decision/19721214348FSupp866_11090.xml/MILLS%20v.
%20BOARD%20OF%20EDUCATION%20OF%20DISTRICT%20OF%20COLUMBIA
Leagle, Inc (1992, March 2). Retrieved from Leagle.net
http://www.leagle.com/decision/19921660786FSupp874_11558.xml/BD.%20OF
%20EDUC.,%20SACRAMENTO%20CITY%20SCHOOL%20D.%20v.%20HOLLAND