Max Stieve
Case 6
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.
Argued January 17, 2002-Decided March 5, 2002.
This case argues whether or not the school has the right to send a disabled student to an Education Life Skills (ELS) program or keep her in the general [[#|education program]] like the parents want. The girl in the case is Beth B. and she is severely mentally and physically challenged. This is the third appeal by Beth’s parents to keep her in the general education classroom instead on the ELS program. After seven years in the general education classroom she has been unable to participate in the classes what so ever and is restricted to her IEP and also has an aide with her at all times. Her curriculum is based on a preschool level.

Decision and Rationale:
The courts ruled that the school district’s recommended placement of Beth does not violate the IDEA Act and affirms the decision of the district court. Her parents had vigorously argued that because she benefitted from the current IEP that they could not pull her from the classroom. However the court says that the least restricted environment in this case that was appropriate for her needs was for her to be in the ELS program. The IEP did allow for reverse mainstreaming where non disable kids would come and interact with the disabled kids.

Impact on Teaching:
As we learned from our SPED class the issue of an appropriate education is extremely important for educators. We have to follow the guidelines for 504s, IEPs, IDEA, and many other acronyms. The parents know their kid’s just like we do, but we have to decide how to intervene and improve their child’s education. Parents sometimes don’t know all of the literature behind these decisions and are unprepared when these meetings go on. We have to explore all options during these huge decision making processes and have to choose what is best for the child’s education.

Applicable Quiz Question:
The parents were arguing that the school board was violating _.
  1. a. IEP
  2. b. 504
  3. c. IDEA Act
  4. d. 2nd amendment

Briana Collier
Betsy Crumbliss
Case 6
Beth v. Van Clay
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Argued January 17, 2002
Decided March 5, 2002

Background: The plaintiff, Susan and Tom B., brought suit against Lake Bluff School District and Mark Van Clay on behalf of their daughter, Beth. Beth is severely physically and mentally challenged. She suffers from Rett Syndrome. Beth is nonverbal, relies on a wheelchair for mobility, and has an extreme lack of control over her body movement. Beth’s parents have been fighting to keep her in a regular classroom for seven years. The school district has held annual IEP meetings to discuss Beth’s progress. Some experts say she has the cognitive ability of a 12-18 month old infant, others say she has the cognitive ability of a 4-6 year old. Beth’s parents want her to stay in a regular classroom. The school district thinks that Beth should be moved into an ELS classroom with reverse mainstreaming.

Decision & Rationale: The hearing officer ruled in favor of the school district. Beth’s parents argued that the school district’s placement violated IDEA. The case came down to whether or not Beth should be educated in a regular classroom and if it would be appropriate. The jury found that the school district’s recommendation to place Beth in an ELS classroom did not violate the IDEA.

Impact on Teaching: This case is important to education because it demonstrates that there are some students that need to be educated outside of a regular classroom. This case found that placing a student with severe physical and mental disabilities did not violate IDEA and did not violate any other rights set in place for students with disabilities.

Applicable Quiz Question: (T/F) The relevant IDEA regulation provides that children may not be removed from the regular classroom unless their education there, with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily. True.