Special Education Law

Course Details

Course Number
SPED 6913
Section Number
SPED 6913
Fall 2016
Emily Rutherford (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives


The candidate will meet the following Texas Educator Standards for special educators. These are aligned with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) knowledge and skills standards as they apply to students with disabilities.


Objectives The specific objectives are that at the completion of the course you will have:

  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)










Assessment : Student performance of knowledge and skills listed above will be formally assessed by grading rubrics (paper), essay questions (quizzes), research project, and documentation of class activities.


Codes for assessment: RP-Research project, EX-Exam, CA-Case analysis; AR-Article reviews.



Dispositions The special education faculty expects students to be reflective, culturally sensitive practitioners and leaders in the profession of education who practice within the Code of Ethics adopted by the CEC.

Special education professionals are committed to developing the highest      educational and quality of life potential of individuals with exceptionalities.

Special education professionals promote and maintain a high level of competence and integrity in practicing their profession.

Special education professionals engage in professional activities which benefit individuals with exceptionalities, their families, other colleagues, students, or research subjects.

Special education professionals exercise objective professional judgment in the practice of their profession.

Special education professionals strive to advance their knowledge and skills regarding the education of individuals with exceptionalities.

Special education professionals work within the standards and policies of their profession.

Special education professionals seek to uphold and improve where necessary the laws, regulations, and policies governing the delivery of special education and related services and the practice of their profession.

Special education professionals do not condone or participate in unethical or illegal acts, nor violate professional standards adopted by the Delegate Assembly of CEC.

The Council for Exceptional Children. (1993). CEC Policy Manual, Section Three, part 2 (p. 4). Reston, VA: Author

Course Expectations

Methods of Instruction


This course will be presented in a manner that will allow you to learn independently, from each other, interaction with instructor via discussions, discussion board, email, and postings. While you may work somewhat at your own pace, I have found that most students appreciate the structure of due dates. Please adhere to the due dates and adjust your study schedule accordingly.


Internet courses are a convenient and effective method of learning, however they require as much work and attention as traditional instruction. Please adhere to the following guidelines/suggestions to ensure success this semester.


1. Do not think you can do this course in your spare time. Plan, plan, and plan some more. Schedule at least 12-15 hours a week to dedicate to this course.


2. Please adhere to all deadlines and due dates-this will help you plan-you may complete assignments early but do not turn them in late.


3. Please read and re-read assignments. Get clarification as soon as can (do not wait until the night before). Post questions on the public discussion board, email me.

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


Grading for the Course


100% – 90% = A

89%-80% = B

79%-70% = C

69%-60% = D

< 60%    = F

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

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

Other Policies

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Midwestern State University makes reasonable adjustments in its policies, practices, services, and facilities to ensure equal opportunity for qualified persons with disabilities to participate in all educational programs and activities. A student/employee who seeks accommodations on the basis of disability must register with Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center Room 168. Documentation of disability from a competent professional is required. The Director of Disability Support Services serves as the ADA Coordinator and may be contacted at (940) 397-4140, TDD (940) 397-4515, or 3410 Taft Blvd., Clark Student Center Room 168. The web address is



Concealed Carry Statements for the West College of Education University


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:

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