News in Brief

State Court Rules for Wider Extracurricular Inclusion

Lawsuit Asked Whether IDEA Requires Accommodations for Disabled Youths

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

School districts must provide the accommodations that children with disabilities need to take part in after-school and extracurricular activities, even if those activities aren’t academically focused, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled.

The case involved a 5th grader with autism and Tourette’s syndrome whose parents asked their district to consider providing services that would allow her to participate in volleyball and other after-school activities.

The district, in the suburbs north of Minneapolis, countered that federal special education law does not mandate providing accommodations for activities unrelated to academics. The parents filed a complaint with the state education department, which ordered the district to convene the child’s individualized education program, or IEP, team to discuss supplementary aids and services she might need to take part in extracurricular activities.

The legal question at the heart of the case, Independent School District No. 12 Centennial v. Minnesota Department of Education, is whether the main federal special education law—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—requires schools to consider accommodations for extracurricular activities in a student’s IEP. The state high court determined that it does.

In its ruling this month, the court said federal regulations “do not limit extracurricular and nonacademic activities included in an individual education program (IEP) to extracurricular and nonacademic activities required to educate a disabled student.”

“Requiring disabled students to prove an educational benefit, when nondisabled students need not, does not afford disabled students an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities,” it found.

Vol. 30, Issue 08, Page 5

Published in Print: October 20, 2010, as State Court Rules for Wider Extracurricular Inclusion
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories