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CH 8 Submission: Portfolio #5

Adrian P. Braybrooke

College of Southern Nevada

Debbie Young is a seasoned high school principal. She served as a special education teacher

and an assistant principal in a progressive, affluent school district in the South. She is

approached by the parents of a severely disabled tenth-grade student to have their son,

Jonathan, attend one of the schools in this district. Jonathan has multiple disabilities requiring

constant care by a specially trained nurse. He is profoundly mentally disabled, has spastic

quadriplegia, and has a seizure disorder. Young refuses the parents’ request due to

extraordinary expense and a view that the school is not the most appropriate placement for

Jonathan. Is Young’s decision defensible? Why or why not? Present both sides of the argument.

Based on the text and court cases, how do you feel the court will rule in this case? Be sure to list

legal references in the support of your responses.

CH 8 Submission: Portfolio #5


A student, Jonathan, has severe disabilities and is profoundly mentally disabled. He

needs constant care from a special trained nurse. Jonathan’s parents ask Debbie Young to be in

her school, but she denies him because of his disabilities, claiming that it would be too much of

an expense to the district.

Pro Young1

Young’s decision could have many factors—while the financial aspect is understandable, one

may question how Jonathan preformed in school prior to this request. If he was passing, then

Young’s decision may be withheld as such is similar to the Board of Education of Hendrick

Hudson Central School District v. Rowley. In this case, parents of a deaf student tried to get their

child an ASL interpreter. When denied, they filed against the school district. However, the

Supreme Court decided that because their daughter could pass school and preform adequately

without the ASL interpreter, she did not need one. Schools must provide reasonable

modifications, not the best ones. This may hold in Debbie Young’s case as well.
Pro Young.

Another case that could support Young and her decision is LT v. Warwick School

Committee. In this case, a parent declined the program offered by the district to assist her child.

Instead, she insisted on a different one. The school refused and the Court backed the school’s

suggestion, claiming they only provide what is reasonable. The same could be assumed in

Young’s case as well.

Pro Jonathan.

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro could relate to Jonathan’s case. Although the

grounds of the case differ, the ruling could be understood to this case as well. In the Court’s

ruling of this case, they claim, “that [the program] was related to the effort to educate because

it was a service necessary in order to allow the student to remain in the classroom.” Under the

same idea, the court could see that it is necessary Jonathan go to this school in order to

maintain a reasonable education.

Pro Jonathan.

McLaughlin v Holt Public Schools relates to this case to a T. In this case, the Court claims

“that a student could be served outside of the neighborhood school if another school in the

district, rather than the neighborhood school, offered the program the student needed.” With

this in mind, Jonathan’s case can be viewed the same way. Perhaps Young’s school can provide

services to Jonathan that he requires; therefore, the court would rule in his favor.


Quite honestly, I feel like the scenario is too vague. Does Debbie Young work in a Public

school? Or a charter school? These would affect the circumstances. How was Jonathan
preforming before? I know that the scenario states that Debbie Young has worked as a SPED

educator before, but does her school offer programs to benefit those that need special


McLaughlin v Holt Public Schools, 133 F. Supp. 2d 994 (W.D. Mich. 2001)

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984)

LT v. Warwick School Committee, 361 F.3d 80 (1st Cir. 2004)

Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176