sehome.jpg (15195 bytes)


Cases are indexed by title.
Click on title to see full text.
Click the back button on the browser to return to this index.

globe.gif (2512 bytes)This icon indicates a link outside of the Clearinghouse Website.

A  B    D   E   F     H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q    R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

A Consequence of Testing ALL Students

Alexis Shuban, a high school special education supervisor is shocked when a student earns an unusually high score on an eleventh grade achievement test. His score is so high, in fact, that he would be eligible for an academic scholarship if he had taken a college preparatory program of study. Unfortunately, this student, a high school senior, has been in special education classes since the 5th grade and has not taken a college preparatory program.


A Cycle of Conflict in the Classroom

James, a student in Diane Newton’s kindergarten class begins his educational experience by kicking the teacher. Connie, Mitchell Elementary’s school counselor, struggles to deflate the escalating conflict when Diane demands that James be placed in a classroom for students with emotional disabilities.


A Broken Arm

Spelling was impossible for Jim, despite the accommodations made by his resource teacher. He was doing well in all his subjects but a new teacher this year believing spelling a necessary life skill was insisting he perform as the other students. Jim's embarrassment over the weekly posting of spelling grades was jeopardizing his successes.


All The Eggs In One Basket

School was hard for Scott due to his learning disability, but he tried his best in the past because he wanted to play football. This year, incentives lost, and failing grades, the only option to graduate if he failed the HSCT was with a special diploma. One course and one teacher with a strict reputation stood in his way.


Back To Square One

Rachel and Leanne were expecting another great year co-teaching a combined 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class with equal numbers of both general education and exceptional education students. Many students are returning from last year including Thomas, a fourth grader with learning disabilities and ADHD. When Thomas's mother has significant health problems, his behavior regresses and the whole class suffers.


Bad News

When one of Mike Salvatore’s students is arrested, Mike feels like a failure. Mike’s plan of action for dealing with Jamal’s behaviors had been successful for a while and he was optimistic that Jamal could overcome his past. In the end, however, it seemed that all was lost.



Estella is a first year teacher of students with learning disabilities at an inner-city elementary school. Being a white female in a predominately African American school, the principal openly acknowledges that he was forced to hire her but would have preferred to hire an African American male teacher. Unfortunately, none had applied. Feeling unwanted and unsupported by the administration, she struggled to deal with a difficult and aggressive student and his mother.



Shawn is a student with a learning disability in Linda Thompson’s middle school, multigrade class. Although he has been recommended for a self-contained class for emotionally handicapped students, his mother has vehemently refused such a placement. In an attempt to help Shawn bring some of his negative outbursts under control, Mrs. Thompson enlists the aid of the entire class. The class agrees to an activity which requires each student to make a personal commitment to change some aspect of their behavior. Everyone hopes that Shawn will participate and be motivated to improve.


Dad Knows Best

Linda Chapman was deeply disturbed by what she had discovered about Jake, one of her 7th graders. Jake had exhibited some unusual behaviors in class and Linda knew he needed more help than she could give. Jake’s father, attending a meeting regarding his son’s behaviors, wasn’t interested in any of Linda’s concerns.


Devoted To All

Charlotte Dempsy is a teacher at a special school for elementary school aged students with severe emotional disorders. She feels that eleven-year-old Charlie is the only student in her 23 years of teaching that she can't reach. Coming from a highly dysfunctional family, and exhibiting extreme obsessive/compulsive behaviors, Charlie is also a master of manipulation. Almost out of ideas, Charlotte decides to reach out and hug Charlie every time he gets in her face. Charlie responds by accusing Charlotte of molesting him and threatens to tell his father.


Difference of Opinion

Jane is an adaptive physical education teacher in a middle school. One of her former students fails his regular PE class and his parents and doctor request that he be returned to her class. When the department head of special education blocks his return due to a technicality, Jane comes to his defense


Diploma For What?

Samantha Green, with six years of experience as a teacher in a residential program, begins her first year as a special education teacher at Tanglewood High School. She quickly learns her 15-year-old bilingual student, Maria, can read only four words. Both teacher and student are frustrated by the obstacles they face.


Easier Said Than Done

Beth Langly, a first year intern struggles with her "constructivist" philosophy and the demands of teaching high school science. Her supervising teacher, a twenty-year veteran of the classroom, is not inclined to try new methods of instruction.


Everyone’s Rights

Two special education teachers attempt to integrate a new student with severe behaviors into their class for students with language and learning disabilities. Because this student takes so much attention and time, they worry about how the other students in the class are faring as a result.


Falling Between the Cracks

Marrissa is a bright child who is friendly and empathetic. Ms. Churchill, her special education teacher, is concerned because she believes that Marrissa is in special education classes only because of her family situation. Although doing well academically in both her general and special education classes, Marrissa is often left with irresponsible relatives where she is severely neglected while her mother goes out of town.


Get This Child Out of My Room

Carl’s behavior had changed after his parents’ bitter divorce three months ago, from self abuse to aggression towards his new classroom teacher, Mrs. Taylor. Susan, just out of college, in her first job as a special education teacher is finding it difficult to adjust to the demands of a rural school cooperative system where resources and services are shared and supervision is minimal.



Ginny is a new 9th grade student at Midland High, a school that has received special recognition as completely accessible to students with physical impairments. Ginny, born with Spina Bifida, is grossly overweight and confined to a wheelchair. Diane Lane, the Exceptional Student Education coordinator, is struggling to help Ginny and her family control her weight and hygiene so that she can participate in a school-to-work program.


Hands Off

Stan Kricek was an intern (student teacher) with three weeks left in a small self-contained class for middle school students with severe emotional disabilities. Left alone to teach a lesson, Stan instructed a student to pick her head up off her desk and get back on task. He placed his hand on her shoulder as he spoke to her. Soon thereafter, Stan was accused of hitting the student.


Hang In There

As a teaching coach for probationary teachers, Nancy's job is to support and assist new teachers in their first two years. She becomes concerned when one of her promising young teachers, frustrated by severe behavior problems in her classroom, confides that she is thinking about quitting.


He's Just A Goofy Guy

Jake is an energetic first grader with a learning disability. Although he is considered one of the gang as far as his classmates are concerned and is excelling academically during the two hours he is included in a general education class, Betty, his general education teacher feels he just "wouldn’t fit in" to a general education classroom full time. On the other hand, Sharon, his resource teacher, sees no reason why he would not be successful.


He Just Needs a Little Discipline

Matt was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the age of eight. All of his 8th grade teachers were concerned about his frequent outbursts in class and tried numerous types of interventions. Ritalin was prescribed in the past and it helped, but Matt’s father believes that his son should learn to cope without medication. Matt recently confided in Jill Gray, one of his teachers, that he thought he could focus better if he could go back on the Ritalin. The situation intensifies as his teachers wonder what to do.


How Far Should We Go?

Brian had eight months left in Willow Brook Elementary before he entered middle school: sixth grade, six classes, six new teachers and he was reading at a first grade level! His learning disability was only part of the dilemma LuAnn and Karen, his co-teachers, faced. His dad had died when Brian was in the first grade, and his mom seemed overwhelmed with the demands facing her.


How Long Do We Have To Wait?

Liz Shaw, a school psychologist for the Blackwood School District is presented with a crisis situation involving a student, Jimmy Landon. She recognizes the seriousness of the situation but is bound by a three-week waiting list. Meanwhile, Jimmy bizarre behaviors are escalating and his teacher is concerned.


I Am Solely Responsible

Sharon Arkell, an experienced special education teacher, finds herself assigned to co-teach with another experienced teacher who refuses to relinquish any of her control in the classroom. The only suggestions that are offered to Sharon are to be patient and don’t rock the boat.


Invasion of Privacy

Sean Michaels was a seasoned professional with ethical concerns regarding the safety of his female students. A new student, Juan Curare, was a convicted sex offender who verbally harassed on of Sean’s female students. The school principal forbade Sean to warn the female students about Juan’s past.


Is It Fair?

New technology is currently available to partially restore hearing to children once profoundly deaf. Optimally the implants are done by age two - Rosa Hernandez is now five and the only school to help her adjust is three hours away. A language barrier seems the largest obstacle to hurdle but the sacrifice may be too large.


Is It Possible To Be Too Helpful?

Anita Miller, is in her first year of teaching middle school students with learning disabilities. She makes a special effort to help Donald, one of her more needy and difficult students, by tutoring him after school, adapting his regular classroom assignments, and allowing his other teacher to send him to her classroom when his behavior gets out of control. After a Pep Club special event, when Anita drives a group of students home, Donald manages to be the last to be dropped off. He deliberately gives her incorrect directions to his house which prolongs the time they are alone together in the car.


Is This Child Mislabled?

Serge Romanich, a third grade student and refugee from Serbia, spoke limited English and had seen war first hand; his father killed and mother maimed. His education had been sporadic at best and the new elementary school he was attending had tested and classified him as learning disabled


It Takes A Village

Charlie, a ten year old who has been in a self-contained EMH classroom, recently moved with his family to a new state. This will be his first experience in a school committed to inclusionary practices. The Special Education co-ordinator finds a temporary placement for Charlie in a 5th grade classroom until she can conduct a thorough assessment of his needs and abilities. The 5th grade teacher is overheard in the teacher's lounge complaining about having Charlie in her class.


Let it Go

Helen accepted a position teaching special education at the Brokenstraw Reservation public school, but the experience was frustrating. She experienced the public schools on Brokenstraw as bureaucratic and self-serving. The public schools were having difficulty competing with the Catholic missionary schools. The Catholic school had a total student enrollment of 250 Native American children. Meanwhile, the public school where Helen worked had only 40 students in grades K through 12 (all of whom were Native American). It was a struggle to keep the school operating. Helen wanted to be an agent of change, but as she began to make progress with her students, she encountered obstacles.


More Than a Teacher

Linda is a teacher in charge of all the 9th graders with learning and/or behavior problems in a large urban school. Dominique, one of her students, is experiencing serious health and emotional problems. The mother, in the midst of a family crisis, is not attentive to her daughter’s needs. Linda wants to help but wonders about what her role should be.


The New Kid

Jared is a welcome addition to Ms. Dennison’s class at a special school for students who are emotionally disturbed. He is the only student in the class who smiles continually, shows concern for others, follows directions, and is generally a likable character. Ms. Dennison, disagreeing with the psycho-educational reports that placed Jared in her class, is concerned that Jared is mislabeled.


No Place to Go

In an effort to provide her preschool students with disabilities the opportunity for inclusion, Sally worked to integrate her class with a Headstart program. She engineered the project, relinquished her space and resources to merge with three other teachers in a cooperative venture of inclusion. Initial success turned to despair the second year after students with more severe handicaps were enrolled in the program and the general education teachers balked at working with them.


Preparing for the Test

When her second graders were given a standardized test, Janet, a new teacher at an inner-city elementary school finds her suspicions were confirmed. The words she had been told that she needed to assure her students knew were the exact words on the test.


Rocking the Boat?

Abstract: Linda, as a new member of the special education team at Maple Park Middle School finds herself at odds with special education staff as she works with the general education staff toward finding a reasonable space to call a classroom.


Silent Participants

Dorothy is a teacher for students with learning disabilities who was given the responsibility of facilitating an IEP meeting for Daniel who was returning from a day treatment program. Daniel’s teacher was a general education teacher committed to including Daniel in her class, but she was struggling with how to deal with her behavior. Dorothy, being a teacher for learning disabled students, did not feel she had the expertise necessary to deal with this situation and was also concerned that Daniel’s teacher may be taking on too much. She had hoped to get some solutions at the Child Study Team (CST) meeting.


Slippery Road

After calling repeatedly to obtain permission from Curtis’ foster mother to send him home on the bus before the roads became too treacherous, the special education teacher finally makes arrangements to get the student to a center where he will be cared for. The teacher begins to think that he is the only person advocating for Curtis in a system that does not seem to have Curtis’ best interest in mind.


Smooth Operator

Innuendo and rumor surrounded Crestwind School’s janitor, Frank. A loophole in the school district’s policy allowed him to retain his job after an arrest and conviction for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Jenny Marsh was unable to quell her uneasy feelings in spite of reassurances from the administration.


So What’s the Big Deal?

Jerry Hastings has been interning in Karen Warren’s middle school class for students with Severe Emotional Disturbance for several months. He didn’t always agree with her use of candy as a reinforcer, but this time she crossed the line when she bribed the kids to behave while she was being observed by District Review personnel.


Stuck in the Baby Class

When the six special education classes at Valley Elementary have to be realigned into four, Tom Jefferies, a fifth grade student, has to return to his primary class with his old teacher, Lisa Jenkins. Tom’s subsequent behavioral setback demonstrates a predictable consequence of such an unfortunate action.


Stuck In the Middle 

Christine Wallace is struggling to meet the needs of her general education class with the addition of two children with special needs. One of those children, Katy Alvarez, has it designated in her IEP that she will have the assistance of a special education aide while in Christine's class. Having Katy's aide, Ms. Butler, in the classroom makes Christine's job more manageable, but school administration is reassigning her elsewhere on a regular basis. Christine debates how to handle this delicate issue.


Teaching is Emotionally Expensive

Tom, a veteran teacher, reflects to some of his peers on some of his teaching experiences over the years. He contends that teaching is "people work," with soft skills determining one’s success in the field. He recounts with two particularly troubling incidents, which regretfully, have caused him to conclude that teaching is emotionally expensive.


That’s Not Fair!

Ms. Taylor and Ms. Jones co-teach a middle school class in which children in special education programs are included with general education students. When Katy, a student with a behavior disorder, is particularly disrespectful and Ms. Jones dismisses it lightly, another student objects and points out that other students in the class would be sent to the office for such a remark.


The Problem With Simone

Simone was struggling in Lisa Flannery’s second grade class despite Lisa’s efforts to adapt her lessons and support form the bilingual department. Simone’s family immigrated from the Philippines with high hopes of Simone becoming a doctor one day. Lisa suspects Simone is having learning problems but her family is unwilling to accept a special education label for her.


Too Attached

Pam Todd was an experienced and exceptional teacher who brought out the best in her student Juan. But, was her approach appropriate? Mr. Lang, the school psychologist didn’t think so. He thought she was overstepping her boundaries as Juan’s teacher.


Train Wreck

As Cheryl Atkins reflects on the family circumstances of a former student, she wonders what she could have done to change the outcome. Did she do enough or did she do too much? What is a teacher's responsibility as far as her student's home life is concerned? Was she too involved?


What IS an Appropriate Education?

The Burrows family was coping with their eleven year old daughter’s recent diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis, a rare degenerative neurological disorder. Melissa was experiencing excessive pain and drastic changes in behavior due to the growth of tumors in her brain. The medication prescribed to slow the growth of tumors was indirectly causing obesity. As she became increasingly aggressive, her teachers as well as her family struggled to control her physical outbursts. When a residential placement became a necessity, a dispute arose between the school board and the Burrows over where Melissa should be placed.


What is Going on Here?

For seven years Toni Hicks, one of four African American teachers at Ridgeview Elementary, had truly enjoyed teaching third grade. This year, however, parents begin requesting that their child be transferred out of her class. Although, she tries to rectify the situation and address their complaints, the exodus from her class continues with no support from the administration.


What's Next For My Kids?

Tom Back has spent five years developing a constructivist math curriculum to accommodate all types of learners including general and special education students. After spending long hours and many sleepless nights, he is finally seeing the fruits of his labor. His student's math grades and test scores reflect the effectiveness of his methods. But Tom is troubled because none of his fellow teachers have taken his lead and modified their teaching styles. Many of his students, after reentering traditional classes are returning to their former spiral of failure.


What’s Our Goal?

Shakira is a physically aggressive fifth grader who is 5 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds. Identified as emotionally handicapped in the 3rd grade, she is often absent and has already failed one grade. No one, including the social workers, the teachers, or her mother are able to do much about her absenteeism, or her behavior. Shakira’s teacher Ms. Smith, who is concerned about the effect Shikira is having on her other students, searches for a way to reach her.


What's Wrong with Kevin?

Sharon Williams, a veteran kindergarten teacher, is perplexed by the unusual pattern of behaviors one of her students is displaying. As a preschooler, Kevin was reported by his parents, as well as others who knew the family, to have developed good language, cognitive, and social skills. Now he seldom interacts with the other students and often acts as if he doesn't understand what is going on in class.


Woman with No Mirrors

Margaret Boggs, a middle school special education resource teacher, enjoys collaborating with her student’s general education teachers. Wayne, one of her more challenging students is having particular problems with one of his teachers, Doris Walker, who is demanding that Wayne be taken out of her classroom and moved to a more restrictive setting. Margaret, in an attempt to advocate on Wayne’s behalf, finds herself at odds with Doris.


You’re a Disgrace

Ms. Stanley and Ms. Diaz are co-teaching one period together, where the classroom they are sharing has been Ms. Diaz’s for 15 years. Unfortunately the two teachers have very different teaching strategies. Ms. Diaz, believing there is a certain percentage of students destined to fail, is strict and unyielding with the students. Ms. Stanley has spent two years working with "at risk" students and believes that all students can succeed with support. Ms. Stanley has tried to talk to Ms. Diaz about their differences but to no avail.


Your Worst Nightmare

A new 11th grade student at Lincoln Academy, for learning disabled students, arrived with an "attitude" and a massive cumulative file documenting her previous "educational wars." After trying numerous strategies, Kim Statler, a third year teacher, is at a loss as to how to reach this student.


  Back to Home Page