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Running head: SPECIAL EDUCATION 1

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Special Education

Seidy Portillo

College of Southern Nevada


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Abstract

This court case involves high school principal Debbie Young, and disabled tenth grade

student Jonathan. I will discuss and analyze the following court cases: Timothy W. versus N.H.

Rochester School District, Sacramento City Unified School District versus Rachel Holland,

Cedar Rapids versus Garret F. and Board of Ed. Of Hendrick Hudson Central School District

versus Rowley to determine whether plaintiffs are reasonable and just for suing the school district

and principal. I will also evaluate legislations created to protect students with disabilities.
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Special Education

Jonathan has multiple physical and mental disabilities that require the constant care of a

nurse who is certified and specially trained. Principal Young tells Jonathans parents that she will

not allow his enrollment, as it is not the most suitable placement for him. Young is also

concerned about how costly it would be for the school to provide the daily services that are

necessary for Jonathan. Plaintiffs in this case are Jonathan and his parents. They are suing

Principal Debbie Young and the South School District for violating the 14th amendment of equal

protection of the laws.

Plaintiffs argue that Jonathan is being discriminated against due to his mental disability,

spastic quadriplegia, and seizure disorder. Young jumped to the conclusion that the school is not

suitable for Jonathan, without even letting him for go through the nondiscriminatory screening

process. Young cannot claim such a thing without having Johnathan properly evaluated. What if

Johnathan’s least restrictive environment was around more students? Page 154 of Legal Rights

of Teachers and Students states that “Children with disabilities are to be educated with children

who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate.” The case of Timothy W. v Rochester

New Hampshire School District is similar to Jonathans case, because the school did not want to

supply the student with additional services. Thus, the Zero Reject policy was created to prohibit

schools from withholding services because they do not think the child will benefit from it.

It is evident that Youngs main reason for not allowing Jonathan in the School is due to

concerns about “extraordinary expenses”. This was already settled in the Sacramento City School

v. Rachel Holland case. The parents of a mentally disabled student wanted to increase the time

their daughter Rachel spent in the general education classrooms, as it was the least restrictive
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environment for her. It would motivate her, help her develop social skills, and increase her

learning. Yet the school argued that it was too expensive. When taken to court, it was declared

that the school district had no met the burden of proof that Rachel could not be taught in the

general education class.

Defendants argue that cost was in fact, the least of their concerns. What most made

Young come to the decision, was that she knew the services Jonathan needed would not be

covered by Free and Appropriate Public Education, and did not fall under the Individuals with

Disabilities Education Act and. In Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F. On

March 3rd, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that “any health service a student may need to

participate in a school setting had to be provided, regardless of cost or resulting financial impact

on the district” (McCabe et.al.,2014 p. 161). Although the court came to that decision, Jonathan

still would not be covered by FAPE. This is determined by previous court case Hendrick Hudson

District v. Rowley.Student Amy was hearing disabled and her parents sued the school district for

not giving her additional services in the Hudson v. Rowley case. The school was only giving her

services that were written in Amy’s Individual Education Program. The court went on to define

FAPE and stated that it was not FAPEs duty to guarantee student achievement.

According to an article written by Allan G. Osborne, the 1984 Irving Independent School

District v. Tatro Case established a standard whereby “the services of a physician are exempted,

but services that can be provided in the school setting by a nurse or qualified layperson are not.”

Given this, it is clear that Jonathans needs cannot be provided by a school nurse, and therefore do

not fall under IDEA criteria.

With all the facts and cases prior to this, it is evident that the School was in violation of

the fourteenth amendment, as they were discriminating him based on his disabilities. All court
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cases support the plaintiffs’ side, especially Sacramento City School v. Rachel Holland, there is

no such thing as too costly for a school district. All children should be provided with a free and

appropriate public education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act supports Jonathan

and his family, as his services could have been provided without a doctor.
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References

McCabe, N.H, McCarthy, M.M, Eckes, S.E. (2014) Teachers Substantive Constitutional Rights.

Legal Rights of Teachers and Students (pp.144-169). Bloomington, Indiana. Pearson

Education.

Osborne, A. G. (2018, February 24). Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F.

Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Cedar-Rapids-

Community-School-District-v-Garret-F