Inclusion in Education and Related Legal Cases

Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972)

This case was a civil action that was brought in the United States district court of Columbia representing seven special needs children who wanted to be granted their rights to free public education which was being denied to them by the school board (Hastings & Oakford, 2003). The board claimed that providing education to these children with special needs was expensive and due to that, these children stayed at home. This case was heard by judge Waddy who decided that free public education was a right for every citizen. He added that the education board was also supposed to provide alternative options to such disadvantaged children.

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PARC v. Commonwealth (1971, 1972)

This case was heard in 1971 and it opposed a state law that allowed the schools not to provide services to children with exceptional needs at the age of five years and wanted to register the first grade. The state decided that free public education was to be provided to all children with exceptional needs up to the age of 21, and it was to be provided with education relevant to their learning capacity. The state also recommended that a child’s preference be established for the slightest restrictive positioning (Hastings & Oakford, 2003).

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro (1984)

In the Irving Independent School District V. Tatro case, it was all about deciding whether related services provision of education to the exceptional children act required the school board to provide services like catheterization to the children.

This case involved the situation of an eight-year-old student who had a condition called spina bifida which needed clean intermitted catheterization every three hours. This service was ruled by the court to be one of the included related services under the statutory definition. The court ruled that the child’s education program be modified to be able to provide the care needed during school hours. It was also ruled that the child be compensated for the damages. It was ruled on the basis of the fact that if the child is not provided with the required services then he or she would not be able to benefit from the free public education hence discrimination which was illegal (Hastings & Oakford, 2003).

Cedar Rapids v. Garrett F. (1999)

In Cedar Rapids community school district v. Garrett F. (1999), the court maintained that children with disabilities had the right to be provided with supportive services for them to be able to acquire the provided education comfortably. This was based on the ruling made by the court in the Irving independent school district V. Tatro. The court dismissed the school district claims that some of the supportive services were costly and ruled that irrespective of the cost incurred these services were the children’s right. The court stated that only medical services which require to be provided by a physician were excluded (Strully, 1996).

Board of Education v. Rowley (1982)

In this case, the parents of a child who had a hearing problem asked whether the school was right to refuse to provide an interpreter to their child, who therefore could not assess free public education. They claimed that this was violating their child’s rights. The court ruled that the school was violating the rights of the child by not providing the interpreter. It argued that each child in a school had special needs and it’s the duty of the school to provide for them equally (Hastings & Oakford, 2003).


I would consider studying inclusion in education which involves students with exceptional needs spending their learning time with the normal students (Barkley, 1998). This is a commonly used method in many schools in order to help disabled children learn fast and also to do away with discrimination. With the use of inclusion, the state laws on the rights of the children with disabilities are observed and they are able to fit in the society as the other children (Hastings & Oakford, 2003).

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In schools where inclusion is practiced, there are no special education programs and all students in the school learn together. In some cases, students learn a full day together and in other cases, they learn up to half a day. They also receive other support services as well. Inclusion in education is known to support diversity among learners (Strully, 1996).


Barkley, R.A. (1998). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York: Guilford.

Hastings, R. & Oakford, S. (2003). Student teachers’ attitudes toward the inclusion of children with special needs. Educational Psychology, New York: Sage.

Strully, J. (1996). Friendships as an educational goal: What we have learned and where we are headed. New York: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

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