Cases and Laws

In the earlier days women and African Americans had no rights to school, work or any other type of socialization. They were brought into slavery, housewives and had no rights as an individual. This included people with disabilities (even those with MMR classification) because they were, “viewed as nonproductive and expandable. ” (Gollnick & Chinn, pg. 181, 2013) The rights we have today as women, African Americans, and those disabled are because of results that came about from case laws. The case laws to help these individuals obtain their rights started in 1896 with the Brown vs Board of Education (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013) case.

This case was much, like the Plessy v. Ferguson case, which was upheld by the Louisiana Separate Car Act. According to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “African Americans had separate but equal transportation facilities and had to have separate transportation, public facilities, schools, restaurants and so on. ” These parts of discrimination were formed before any rights to women, children and African Americans were involved and made it even harder for each of these individuals to have a normal life. According to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “The Brown vs.

Board of Education came about in 1950, when Topeka student Linda Brown, had to ride the bus to school. ” The problem was that even though Linda was only four blocks away from her school, she was not allowed to go to that specific school because she was African American. Brown stated that, according to the U. S. Constitution, all U. S. citizens have the right to life, liberty and property. In this case, Brown proved to the U. S. Supreme Court that education was a property right and Linda Brown (along with other African Americans) were denied that right, therefore, violating the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

After this ruling was in favor of Brown and Plessy, the people were starting to bring together the laws to form the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Pennsylvania there were problems with people providing assistance to those considered mentally retarded. According to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “in 1971 the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for failing to provide a publically supported education for students with mental retardation. ” This case was known as the Parc v.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013), which in the end resulted in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding children ages 6 to 21 a free public education (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013). This made changes for all individuals seeking education to become future lawyers, doctors, and other professional careers that they could not seek before because of discrimination. Shortly after the PARC decision was known, another suit took place, which was Mills vs. Board of Education (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013).

This dealt with children who had behavior problems, hyperactivity, epilepsy, mental retardation and physical problems (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013). Today, I’ve noticed that these children, considered “disabled”, have medication and therapy to help maintain some of these disabilities so they can still join regular classrooms and live as much of a normal life as possible. I’ve also noticed that most of these special education classrooms today are filled with students that have learning or physical disabilities while children with behavioral disabilities are rare.

The results from the Mills vs. Board of Education case altered the views from Congress, which led them to want to change and add a new law to, Section 504 of Public Law 93-112, which was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law states that any individual of the United States should not be excluded from programs because of their disability (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013). In 1975, another Act, The Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013), was also signed into law.

According to Gollnick and Chinn (2013), “individuals ages 3 to 21 had the right to a free education, Educational Programs, Parental involvement in their children’s education, fair and accurate evaluations, education in a least restrictive environment and procedures that would protect the rights of the students and their parents. This law is what gave rights to children that are considered disabled the right to a proper and equal education as they would give to children that are considered not disabled.

Teacher’s had to uphold the law by making sure students met their needs through Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and state testing. Teachers also had to meet special accommodations to meet their educational needs such as special education classes or programs. In 1982, the first case relating to a student with a disability was the Hendrick Hudson School District v. Rowley. According to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “Amy Rowley was a student with a hearing impairment, who was set in a regular education kindergarten class.

” The classroom met her accommodations by having the teacher learn sign language, providing a teletype machine in the school office and having a sign language interpreter in the classroom. After she moved on from kindergarten the school evaluated her through an IEP and denied her request for a full-time interpreter. According to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “The ruling was that schools were not obligated to provide the best possible education, but instead give the student a “basic floor of opportunity.

”” I think that students such as Rowley should have an interpreter at all times or have other special accommodations in the classroom so she could still have the same equal opportunity to learn as other students. On January 26, 1990 President George H. W. Bush signed Public Law 101-336 otherwise known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013). This law according to Gollnick & Chinn, “would end discrimination toward individuals with disabilities in employment, public schools, public accommodations, public transportation and telecommunications.

” This allowed any individual of any age to keep a human being from being discriminated and denied an education, employment or any public activity because of their disability. The technical terms of this Act in my understanding is that if someone opens a school, a restaurant or any public service they have to accommodate and meet the minimum standards for every individual; whether they are a different race, a different sex or disabled. In 1990, Congress passed another Public Law 101-476, which were the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Gollnick & Chinn, 2013), which according to Gollnick & Chinn (2013), “added to the

Public Law 94-142 stating that students with autism and traumatic brain injury are entitled to separate services, including those upheld through the transition plans and IEPs, until the age of 16. ” After the he IDEA law came, the Congress added Public Law 105-17 Amendments. These included strengthening the role of parents, giving schools greater latitude for discipline by altering some procedural safeguards and setting funding formulas (Gullnick & Chinn, 2013).

These Amendments allowed teachers more of a leeway to help keep control and organization of their classroom while dealing with people considered physically or mentally disabled or have behavioral problems. It also gave parents a better understanding of what the teachers have to do for their children and how parents play a role in that as well. Women, disabled children and African Americans have a different life today because of these case laws that occurred throughout the centuries.

The process started from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and lead to the No Child Left behind Act of 2001. These Acts changed America and its form of education for not only students with disabilities, but for all students, parents or individuals that are seeking an education as well. It’s what classified the statement of, “all men and women are created equal” and changed America into the “land of the free” that it’s known for today. Reference Gollnick, D. M. , & Chinn, P. C. (2006). Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall/Merrill.