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Running Header: RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Rights of Students With Disabilities


Winter Henrie
Edu. 210-1003
College of Southern Nevada

RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Abstract.
This paper will argue both sides of a decision involving a student with severe mental and
physical disabilities. The Principals decision to reject a request to accommodate a student with
these severe disabilities will likely be affirmed, based on previous landmark court cases.

RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Rights Of Students With Disabilities


Where and how to educate students with disabilities is still a very controversial subject.
Some believe that students with more severe disabilities should be in self contained classrooms.
While others argue that regardless of a students disability they should be in typical classrooms.
Perhaps the most hot button issue is, who should front the bill for the added expenses needed to
accommodate a child with a severe disability? Jonathan is a tenth grade student who has a mental
disability, spastic quadriplegia and is prone to seizure. His disabilities require the presence of a
specially trained nurse at all times. When Jonathans parents spoke with his principal, Debbie
Young, they requested that their son be able to attend one of the schools in her district. Young
made it apparent to Jonathans parents that, because of extraordinary expenses, their request was
not reasonable. Young also felt that the school would not be the most appropriate placement for
Jonathan. Previous court cases, involving similar situations, are likely to affirm Youngs choices.
Is it the schools responsibility to pay for all additional expenses that accompany someone
with such a severe disability? Or, do those expenses lie with the parents? In 1984, Irving
Independent School District V. Tatro, created the medical exception rule."Medical services are
defined as services provided by a licensed physician (Goldberg 1984). This means that schools
are not responsible to assist students who require medical procedures that are prescribed or
supervised by a physician. Jonathan requires a specially trained nurse at all times, and as such
was a medical service that did not need to be provided by the school. The medical exception
rule was designed to spare schools from an obligation to provide a service that might well prove
unduly expensive and beyond the range of their competence (Goldberg 1984).

RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

The Education of the Handicapped Act provides that all students have the right to a free
and appropriate education (Goldberg 1982). In a landmark case, Hendrick Hudson Board of
Education V. Rowley 1982, set the standards for what is considered an appropriate education.
The ruling provided children with disabilities access to public schools that also provided a basic
floor of opportunity. Not the best education but one where the child has passing
grades (Goldberg 1982). Principal Young believes that in conjunction with the medical
exception rule, their high school could not provide Jonathan with an appropriate education.
In 1999, Cedar Rapids V. Garret F., revisited what services could be offered to a student
with a disability. decided cost is not a factor. If its needed to attend school and doesnt meet
the medical exception test the School must provide it (Goldberg 1999). Though the school is
still not legally responsible to provide Jonathan with a specialized nurse, they must provide any
other services that Jonathan will need to attend school. This will include, transportation, physical
therapy, and specialized tutors. Cost is also not a factor, and does not have a cap on how much
can be spent on a student.
Another, and possibly more beneficial, option would be to seek reimbursement for a
private school that is equipped to support Jonathan, and all of his needs. Burlington School
Committee V. Massachusetts Department Of Education, 1985 This decision gave parents the
right to reimbursement of private school tuition in certain situations (Goldberg 1985). These
certain situations were defined as, If the School Districts offer didnt meet the definition of
FAPE and the parents private school placement did give FAPE then they could get reimbursed

RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

(Goldberg 1985). FAPE, meaning a free appropriate public education. Principal Youngs school
cannot provide a free and appropriate education. Therefore, Jonathans parents are eligible to
receive reimbursement for a private school.
Based on previous court cases, Principal Young has reasonable defense for rejecting
Jonathans parents request. However, Youngs school is responsible to provide any services, with
the exception of certain medical services, at no cost. The best education that Jonathan could
receive, would be to go to a private school that is already equipped to help him. This would be
free to his parents, because the public school cannot provide a free and appropriate education.

RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES


References
Goldberg, D. (2014, October 28). Irving Independent School District. v. Tatro, 468 U.S.
883 (1984). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/irvingindependent-school-district-tatro-468-us-883-1984/
Goldberg, D. (n.d.). Hendrick Hudson Board of Education. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176
(1982). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/hendrickhudson-rowley-458-us-176-1982/
Goldberg, D. (n.d.). Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Department Of
Education, 471 U.S. 359 (1985). Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://
www.specialeducationadvisor.com/burlington-school-committee-massachusetts-department-ofeducation-471-us-359-1985/
Goldberg, D. (n.d.). Cedar Rapids v. Garret F., 526 U.S. 66 (1999). Retrieved October 5,
2015, from http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/cedar-rapids-garret-f-526-us-66-1999/