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Court Case Timothy

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Case Study

Timothy vs. Rochester School District

Background: Timothy’s parents took to court arguing for their child with mental retardation and multiple disabilities, attempting to register him for special education services at his resident school district. The districts staffs were responsible to decide if Timothy was considered educationally handicapped, some members found Timothy to be “uneducable.” Thanks to this case on May 24, 1989, ruled that “under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA; now the Individuals with Disabilities Act [IDEA]), school boards were required to provide special-education services to any disabled student regardless of the severity of his or her disabilities”. (Amy M. Steketee, 2014)

  1. Plaintiff: Timothy’s Parents
  1. Violation of EAHCA- the act that requires public schools to accept federal funds that will help make available equal education and offer a free meal a day to a child that has physical and mental disability.
  2. Timothy not having Equal Protection – “United States law, the constitution guarantees that no person or group will be denied the protection under the law that is enjoyed by similar persons or groups”. (Encyclopædia Britannica)
  3. The district violating the Due Process Clause “a course of legal proceedings according to rules and principles that have been established in a system of jurisprudence for the enforcement and protection of private rights”. (Encyclopædia Britannica)
  4. Timothy’s right to FAPE had been violated – “any person who: (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment”. (Education Publications Center)
  5. IDEA Section 504 – “prohibits discrimination against all persons with disabilities regardless of whether they require educational services or not” (U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1988)
  6. The district using the assumption that a retarded child is “un-educable” & “un- trainable” lack the foundation of factual documentation.
  7. The district does not have the right to deny educational rights to any student with retardation or disability, no matter how badly they might be functioning.

  1. Defendants: Rochester School District
  1. Cost – excuses in court of statements for more money which is required as it affects the school districts savings.  
  1. Not enough attention towards academic benefits for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.
  2. The effect the students can have on the teacher and other children.
  3. Timothy is not capable of benefitting from special education, as a result, the district is not obligated to offer special education under EAHCA.
  4. Timothy needs to be able to demonstrate functionality of the mind before special education services can be received by him.
  5. Timothy was considered not educable or even trainable by professionals and not the school district, hence the district has no obligation to provide.



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