Leadership in Education Essay

Submitted By slsmith00
Words: 3007
Pages: 13

RUNNING HEAD: Legislation Pertaining to the Rights of People with Special Needs in Education as it relates to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The laws, court decisions, and legislation pertaining to the rights of people with special needs are quite extensive. Even those pertaining to the educational arena can be almost overwhelming in their number and complexity. Applications range from addressing the needs of individuals with physical disabilities to addressing the needs of individuals with specific cultural characteristics which make special educational provisions a necessity. The laws which are on the books regarding the special educational needs of individuals with physical disabilities are the result of extensive litigation and subsequent court decisions. So too, however, are the various provisions which have been made for such considerations as cultural needs. While our contemporary educational environment currently emphasized physical needs over cultural needs, the latter is coming into the limelight more and more frequently. Beth B. and Susan and Tom B. Plaintiffs vs. Mark Van Clay and Lake Bluff School District No. 65 is a particularly useful example of the complexity of laws and legislation surrounding individuals with special needs. This case resulted from the concerns of a parents of a child with Rett’s Syndrome who had been excluded from the regular classroom at her middle school on the basis of her condition. The parents contended that the school and its superintendent had failed to satisfy the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The school board contended that the IEP placement of the child constituted a FAPE under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (Federal Case Summary, 2002). A secondary consideration of this case was whether the parent’s request for an injunction was timely. The parents of the child at issue in Beth B. and Susan and Tom B. Plaintiffs vs. Mark Van Clay and Lake Bluff School District No. 65 requested an injunction which would retain the child’s placement in the mainstream classroom while the law suit to determine her ultimate placement was being resolved. This injunction was requested from the District Court, Moran, where the Senior District Judge held not only that the parents’ challenge was timely but also that the basis of the parents’ contention that the child should be allowed to remain in the mainstream classroom until resolve of the lawsuit was correct. The Senior District Judge in Beth B. and Susan and Tom B. Plaintiffs vs. Mark Van Clay and Lake Bluff School District No. 65 held that IDEA did indeed require the child’s placement in the classroom and ordered that the child be placed there in the interim while the dispute was being settled. An injunction was issued to that effect. Although this case was quite complex in the considerations which it encompassed, it is exemplary of those which often arise in regard to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 require educators to develop alternate educational methods for those exceptional students who are not addressed by standard measures used in assessing education and accountability (Kleinert, 1999). Such an educational address often requires the educational institution to place a child in a specialized educational setting. The fact that clear assessment methodologies must be a part of this ultimate placement decision was not one, however, which would be considered by Beth B. and Susan and Tom B. Plaintiffs vs. Mark Van Clay and Lake Bluff School District No. 65. The real focus of this case was whether the child should remain in the mainstream educational…