Speial Education Law

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2017
Emily Rutherford (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

  1. An understanding of the fundamentals and history of the development of special education and civil rights for students with disabilities.
  2. A basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  3. A basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  4. An ability to apply these basic legal principles to actual situations involving disabled students in public education.
  5. An ability to demonstrate a working knowledge of the course materials through successful completion of assignments and a final examination.




Laws and policies for general and special education. (RP, CA, AR, EX)


Evolution of laws and policies that impact the lives of individuals with exceptionalities and their families from birth through adulthood. ( EX)


Political and economic issues that affect policy development. (RP,CA,EX)


Development and implementation of policies and regulations for individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families. (RP,CA,EX)


Laws and policies regarding assessment, program evaluation, and accountability related to individuals with exceptional learning needs. (RP,CA,EX)


Laws and policies governing the discipline of all students and implications for individuals with exceptional learning needs. (CA,EX, AR)


Legal and ethical issues of behavior management of individuals with exceptional learning needs.  (CA,EX)




Interpret laws and policies pertaining to individuals with exceptional learning needs. (CA,AR,EX)


Incorporate essential components into individualized education plans (EX)




Course Expectations

  1. Animoto Introduction of Self (10 pts)

Introducing and “meeting” fellow classmates within an online course is an important part of establishing an effective online learning community.  Using the following FREE tool, provide an introduction for fellow classmates.



·         Animoto –


Let us know information about you so that we can start becoming a learning community.  If possible, include a picture of yourself.  Please complete this activity ASAP.  Conduct the following:

  • Go to
  • Create an account.
  • Create product.
  • Copy URL and post within the “Introduction” thread on Discussion Board. 
  • Respond to your classmates (at least 3)



  1. Discussion Activities (10 @ 10 pts)

On-line discussions will occur weekly and last for a period of 5 days.  You will find everything you need for your discussion by accessing the Weekly Discussion   in D2L. Due to the large number of students in this section I will put in you in groups of approx. 5 students, group information will be posted after the first week of class and will be found in the course information section of D2L. Please do not wait to post your discussion at the last minute. Discussion activities have shown to be more meaningful and beneficial when a) they are focused, and b) everyone participates in a timely manner. 


Moderators: In advance (at least by Sunday at midnight) of the week before your assigned discussion, locate one (per moderator) peer-reviewed article on the reading topic for the next week (if there are two topics, choose one) so I can post them. For example, Group 1 will locate an article pertaining to the Individuals with Disabilities Act and send it to me by midnight on Sunday 9/10/17 so that I can post it for discussion on Monday. Your article should be fairly current, published within the past 5-7 years.  Log in regularly, at least daily, to respond to comments. Your job for the week that you are assigned as moderator is to 1.) Locate and send me the article to post and 2.) Log in regularly, at least daily, to respond to comments, keep the discussion going.



Participants: Read posted articles, post a minimum of three quality posts (at least one per article) during the discussion period. Examples of quality posts are listed below. You may also post more if you wish.


These will be graded on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest. The following are discussion points which are considered a 10:






3.  Case Analysis ( 2 @ 50pts each)

The purpose of this assignment is to gain experience and practice in analyzing due process court rulings using a semi-formal method of case review. You will select and analyze two separate due process cases using the method provided. You will be provided a link to some of the most important cases, but you are also free to research using the sources of your choosing. See the Case Analysis Format section below for more information regarding this assignment. Information on locating cases can be found in the Resources section in D2L.



  1. SPED Law Research Project (100 pts)

The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with historical court cases which have shaped the field of special education. You will conduct a historical court case review. This case must be different than the cases you use for your case review assignment. Your case should be approved by me no later than   10/16/2017 (via email). You will provide a two page summary of the chosen court case include the following components: year, title, facts of the case, issues, decisions, and educational implications. You will then use the information from your paper to prepare a screencast-o-matic presentation for your classmates. Your will upload your paper and link to dropbox for grading and post your link in D2L for your classmates to view.


For information on how to use screencast-o-matic, please go to the following tutorial:  Technical difficulties will not be an acceptable excuse for failure to complete this as assigned.


NOTE:  DUE DATES… All assignments for a given week should be posted no later than Sunday at midnight of the assigned week.  For example, all assignments assigned on 09/04/17 should be posted by Midnight, Sunday, 9/10/17. Discussions will open on Monday and end at Midnight on Sunday.


  1. Exams ( 2 @ 50 pts each)

You will be given a midterm and a final exam requiring you to apply your knowledge of special education law. The exams will come from information you have read through the assigned readings in your text.  

Grading Standards

Animoto                                                                                    10

Discussions (10 @ 10 Pts)                                                      100

Case Analysis (2 @ 50 Pts)                                                    100

Sped Law Research                                                                100

Midterm Exam                                                                         50

Final Exam                                                                               50

Total                                                                                         410

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to log-in to class weekly. Since this is an online course, attendance is equivalent to participation.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at