Decriminalizing Students with Disabilities
New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 54, 2010
59 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2009 Last revised: 9 Nov 2009
Despite the enactment of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975, students with disabilities have been disproportionally singled out for school exclusion and “push-out” through disciplinary actions, inadequate educational programs, and criminal prosecution. In Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988), the United States Supreme Court condemned the disciplinary exclusion of students for behaviors that were manifestations of the students’ emotional disabilities. Criminal prosecution of students for disability-related behavior was curbed in the case of Morgan v. Chris L., 927 F. Supp. 267 (E.D. Tenn 1994), aff’d 106 F.3d 401 (6th Cir. 1997). This article examines the Chris L. litigation, the subsequent legislative changes made to the IDEA, and recent, related litigation. The article calls for a universal halt to criminalizing students - all students - for minor school-related misconduct .
Keywords: students, disabilities, school, criminalization
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