Signature Assessment Final By: Alison eggers

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley; No. 80-1002

This legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 1982, held (6–3) that the Education of the Handicapped Act of 1974 (EHA; renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] in 1990), did not require that the special instruction and supportive services provided under the law by state governments to disabled students be designed to help them achieve their full potential as learners. Instead, it was sufficient that the instruction and services be such as “to permit the child to benefit educationally from that instruction.

Under the EHA, state governments, through local school boards, were required to provide disabled students with a “free appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment”—i.e., in classrooms with nondisabled children, where feasible—as detailed in an individualized education program (IEP) developed for each child by school officials in consultation with parents or guardians. The court’s decision in Rowley defined the term free appropriate public education.


The Board of Education vs. Rowley case affected teachers and continues to affect teachers because they now have students with special needs in their classrooms more often. The teachers now have to adjust their instruction to accommodate students to meet all of their needs.


It was concluded that a “free appropriate public education” consists of educational instruction specially designed to meet the unique needs of the handicapped child, supported by such services as are necessary to permit the child “to benefit” from the instruction.


Several technology components have been developed that help students with special needs learn in the classroom. Technology can be the great equalizer in a classroom with diverse learners. Teachers can find it difficult to differentiate instruction for students in one class, all with different needs and abilities, “assistive technology” (devices and software to assist students with disabilities) can often help teachers personalize lessons and skills enhancement to each child. For children with physical disabilities, technology can give access to learning opportunities previously closed to them.


Students with and without disabilities can both benefit from students with special needs being included in the general classroom. Some of the benefits are:

  • Friendships
  • Peer role models for academic, social and behavior skills
  • Increased achievement of IEP goals
  • Greater opportunities for interactions
Teacher Personal Rights and Responsibilities


According to the a federal appeals court, a teacher’s in-class curriculum in primary and secondary schools is not protected by the First Amendment. “Only the school board has ultimate responsibility for what goes on in the classroom, legitimately giving it a say over what teachers may (or may not) teach in the classroom,” writes the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in its decision.

An Ohio high school teacher, Shelley Evans-Marshall, sued an Ohio school district, claiming her employment contract was not renewed because she used books in class that some parents found objectionable and chose pedagogical approaches her school’s principal disfavored ever after several warnings and parental complaints. Eventually, the school board voted unanimously not to renew Evans-Marshall’s contract.

Evans-Marshall claimed that the school district violated her First Amendment right “‘to select books and methods of instruction for use in the classroom without interference from public officials.’” But the court determined that Evans-Marshall had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the school board’s decision not to renew her was linked to her curricular and pedagogical choices.


This case is significant to teachers because the curriculum they use in the classroom is all approved by the school board. In an English class I could see where the teacher would want to broaden the minds of her students to different texts, but if they aren't approved by the school and the teacher has gotten several warnings about what they teach in the classroom then it's probably best that they don't engage in that instruction. The school board has the best interest of the students in mind, so if they don't approve of certain books or curriculum the teacher shouldn't be using it in their classroom.


Some of the books on the banned list the teacher had her students choose from were not appropriate for students to be reading in the high school level. The higher achievement students may have benefitted from reading more complex texts to engage their critical thinking skills. On the other hand, the texts may have been too difficult for students on the low end of the spectrum to comprehend. There's a chance that some of those books would offend the students because of their cultures and beliefs.


Even though technology wasn't directly mentioned in the court case, the teacher could have had her students use it or used it herself to aide in her instruction. In the school, the classroom teacher could have used technology in her classroom that promoted her teaching choices. While in the case it just listed the banned books the teacher had the students choose from to read, they might have had to research their books to find out more about them.


While it may broaden the minds of students to have a curriculum that challenges the students, I could also see where the certain books and instruction the teacher used would potentially "corrupt" the student and cause the parents their concern. The benefit the students would receive would be learning the curriculum the school board approved which would align with the state standards. This would ensure that the students would be learning what they are supposed to in order to meet the standards and do well on state assessments.

Teacher Professional Rights and Responsibilities

Cecil Roth vs. Geneseo Community Unit School District No 228; Case No. 4:01-cv-04039-MMM-JAG

Cecil Roth was a tenured math teacher at Geneseo Middle School in Illinois. After getting in an argument with administrators, poor evaluations, and harassment allegations he was dismissed from his position in the school district for incompetence.


As a soon to be teacher who hopes to teach in Missouri, I will eventually become a tenured teacher myself in a school district. After "getting my feet wet" for the first 5 years, I can then obtain tenure. Many see tenure as being job security. Once teachers obtain tenure they have a harder time being dismissed, however they still can be on the basis of just cause. I will have to ensure that I'm still doing job I was hired to do in the first place after I am tenured and that's to provide students with the education I possibly can. The teacher in the tenure case I felt was a little extreme and overbearing because he was bound and determined he was going to get his job back. I know my responsibilities and will be devoting my time for the next thirty years or so to my students well being.


As a teacher, I will see many different kinds of students. I will be accepting of all students and there differences. I want to be a teacher students can confide in and learn from. In the case, one of Roth's former students said that in his thirteen years of attending school in the district Roth was the worst teacher he ever had. I don't want to be remembered for the negative. I want to go things that will leave a lasting impact on my students.


Since I'm just starting my teaching journey, I will get to experience a growth in technology (more so than it already has). Technology has already impacted education dramatically in the last years, so I can only imagine what the next ten years will bring. Mr. Roth would have been teaching when some of the changes in education came about. He didn't seem to be a man who did well with changes. More emphasis has been put on the teacher to perform well in the classroom, and according to teacher evaluations Roth wasn't performing to the best of his ability.


From a tenured teacher, the student receives the benefit of a quality education from a qualified teacher. While tenure may be job security to some, most are aware that it can't prevent you from being dismissed if you're doing your job the way you should be.



Created with images by jaycross - "IMG_3532.JPG" • FredCintra - "Control is an Option to Command"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.