Board of Education vs. Rowley

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In the case of the Board of Education vs. Rowley (458 U.S. 176, 1982) the question was posed by the parents of a hearing impaired student that the school districts refusal to provide a sign language interpreter violated their daughter's right to a free, appropriate public education. It is my opinion that the decision by the Appellate court was in good faith.

The standard of a free appropriate public education was not clearly defined by the act passed by the state. However the language of "commensurate with the opportunity provided to other children" is. I feel the steps made by the Board of Education to provide several services to the child clearly showed they had attempted and succeeded in the standard. The child performed better then average, had no issues going from grade to grade and was "remarkably well adjusted". While having an "extraordinary rapport" with her teachers and classmates, it hardly showed any disdain on the part of the educators.

Every child has issues in learning, whether it be A.D.D or dyslexia, do we expect the school district to provide medication or to write the letters backwards for the students? The standard is simply that the schools provide each student with the same opportunity of an education. Parents have an obligation to take an active part in the education of their children. Not everything can be provided to the child from the schools that are required for that child's meaningful education. Teachers regularly purchase learning aids; students always have to purchase their own pens and pencils.

The response from the district in this case, I feel, was appropriate. They took the child's disability and brought in not only special equipment, but sent educators to classes and brought in new people to accommodate the child. The child was performing better then average, thus meeting the standard of education set forth by the state.
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