Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education

874 F.2d 1036 (1989)

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Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
874 F.2d 1036 (1989)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Daniel R. (plaintiff) was a student in the El Paso Independent School District (district) (defendant) who was diagnosed with Down syndrome and significant mental impairments. Daniel qualified as disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly known as the Education of the Handicapped Act. Daniel attended the district’s half-day special education program, but Daniel’s parents requested to enroll Daniel in an additional half day of prekindergarten, a regular education class focused on developmental skills. Daniel’s Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee (committee) agreed to the additional half-day class. In prekindergarten, Daniel required near-constant individual attention from the teacher and her aide, and he failed to master any of the skills being taught in class. The teacher made significant attempts to modify the curriculum and teaching methods for Daniel, but fully accommodating Daniel would have required downgrading 90–100 percent of the curriculum. The additional half day of class also notably exhausted Daniel and caused him to develop a stutter. The committee removed Daniel from the prekindergarten class but allowed him to interact with nondisabled students outside his special education program both at lunch and recess. Daniel’s parents requested an administrative hearing, and a hearing officer affirmed the decision. Daniel’s parents appealed to a federal district court, which also affirmed the committee’s decision. Daniel’s parents appealed again to the Fifth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gee, J.)

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