Special Education

Supreme Court Decisions
involving "other health impaired"
Classified Students


Recent Supreme Court decisions have made it easier to state a case for nursing and therapy services for the health impaired child


The 1999 United States Supreme Court ruling in Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., No. 96—1793 held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to provide nursing services when such supportive services are necessary in order for students to access and benefit from their educational program no matter what the cost.


Garret F. is a clear directive to school districts to provide school nursing services to students who need those services in order to attend school and benefit from their education, whether these are one-on-one all-day services, intermittent services, or direct or indirect services for any part of the day or week.

Some students with disabilities and/or chronic and acute health concerns require specialized health services to insure their inclusion in education programs and their safety in the school environment. These services may include the nursing skills of medication administration, developing accommodations and action plans to care for complex procedures such as insulin administration, respiratory care, respiratory or oxygen therapy, nebulized medications or administration of intravenous medications.


The 2007 United States Supreme Court ruling in
Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 05-983
held that parents need not hire a lawyer to sue public school districts
over their children's special education needs.

With the practice of requiring an attorney, school districts made families without means — but perhaps with good cases — go away. It was unjust. It was with this Ohio case that the Winkelmans filed a lawsuit against the local school district because they were dissatisfied with the individual education plan for their youngest son, who has autism. They couldn't afford a lawyer and represented themselves, but an appeals court ordered they must have legal representation and the case dismissed. With the Supreme Court ruling, the Winkelmans now will be able to press their lawsuit against the school district on their own. They, and other parents in the same situation, can now have their day in court.

Supreme Court decisions are the law of the land.
Become acquainted with these decisions.
It will be your best armor in
requesting services for your child.




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