Hendrick Hudson Board of Education v. Rowley

The first case dealing with the issue of special education to reach the Supreme Court in the United States was Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley (458 U.S. 176) in 1982. Amy Rowley was a deaf first grader who had spent most of kindergarten mainstreamed into a regular classroom without the support of a interpreter. The case remains a definitive precedent for the interpretation of standards around what appropriate means in the requirement of a “free appropriate public education (FAPE)” for special education students.

In the spring of 1976, 18 months before she started kindergarten, Amy’s parents contacted the principal at Furnace Woods Elementary School, close to their home in Peekskill, New York. They made clear their desire to have Amy educated in an integrated ...

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