Deal v. Hamilton County Dept. of Education

Due Process and Parental Rights:
Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education

Grand Canyon University: SPE 350
28 October 2012

Due Process and Parental Rights: Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education In 2004 the case of Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education was coming to a close after reaching the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Ohio. Within this essay, detailed examination of this case, along with issues that developed the case, disagreement points, parties involved, and final outcome will be explored. This case was initiated in 1999 and reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2004. The Individuals with Disabilities Act has given parents and caregivers to student’s unparalleled rights regarding their student’s education. This case clearly outlines the difference in the interpretation of these laws and regulations between schools, parents, and even the various levels of courts. The primary issues that brought this case to court were the need for clear interpretation of a Free and Appropriate Education, as well as the school meeting the regulations that were outlined in IDEA (Osborne & Russo, 2007). The final outcome of this case gave more than a decision; in this case not only were the student and parents affected but the school as well. This case identifies the judicial process as well as individual interpretation of the laws regarding educating students with special needs. In this court case, the Plaintiffs or Appellants were identified as Maureen Deal; Phillip Deal, Parents, on behalf of Zachary Deal. The Hamilton County Board of Education was listed as the Defendant or Appellee. Although these two parties were the only two listed parties specifically in the court case, there were over twenty witnesses and experts called to testify in this court case as well as over thousands of pages of documents, and hours of taped videos were entered as exhibits (Find Law, 2012). In 1997, Zachary Deal was three years old and embarking on his first individual education program (IEP) with the Ooltewah Elementary School so that he could be enrolled into a comprehensive development class. Zachary’s parents, Maureen and Phillip Deal are primary characters within this court case as well as advocates, caregivers, and advocates for Zachary’s education. Zachary Deal, a young student, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or autism, was introduced into the Hamilton County school system at the age of three years old. The autism spectrum disorder is defined as “a developmental disability, which significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, general evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance, among other characteristics such as repetitive activities, stereotyped movements, and resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines “ according to Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (2012). In addition to that general definition, court case files described Zachary as also having severe deficits in communication and social interaction. During his first academic year, Zachary’s parents identified an additional program that they felt would be helpful for his disability and began implementing it outside of school hours. This additional program was developed by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and relies heavily on extremely structured education plans and behavioral analysis along with data collection and analysis (Mayerson, G. 2012). In 1998 an IEP meeting was held to consider an extended school year service program for Zachary based on the progress that was made the previous year by the combination of parents and the school. The school system refused to fund the extended school year program as well as the collected data on Zachary’s educational and behavioral improvement. Again, in 1999, Zachary’s parents requested an extended school year program but again...

References: Find Law. (2012). Deal v. Hamilton County BD. Of Educ. 03-5396. Retrieved from
Mayerson, G. (2012). Analysis of Zachary Deal v. Hamilton County Department of Education . Retrieved from
Osborne, A. G., & Russo, C. J. (2007). Special Education and The Law: A Guide for Practitioners (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. (2012). What is the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from
Wrights Law. (2012). United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circut. Retrieved from
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