The United States of America was built on the foundation of equal opportunity and freedom. Throughout history, the ideals surrounding education and equality have been challenged. Brown V. Board of Education has served as a landmark for equal opportunity, in which the federal courts affirmed that segregation within public education was illegal. Following the same principles of Brown V. Board of Education, the segregation of disabled students from mainstream classrooms has also been challenged. Under the Individual with Disabilities Act of 1997 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the federal courts have stated that students with disabilities are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Does appropriate mean equal? This midterm essay will react on the statement “fair does not necessarily mean equal, fair means appropriate,” and will determine the pros and cons of this statement.
The Constitution of the United States requires that all children be given an equal public education regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, or socio-economic status. In the film, “Separate But Equal,” the basic question of whether segregated facilities could ever be equal was challenged. One of the most important cases in the history of education is the Brown V. Board of Education, which challenged the separate but equal clause in public education. Segregation deprived African-American students of equal protection of the law under the 14 Amendment, and therefore segregated public schools could not be considered equal.
The Brown V. Board of Education case has served as an example for other equal education issues, particularly in the area of special education. The Brown case clearly displayed that discrimination on the basis of race, was not equal. Children of all races were to be given an equal educational opportunity with equal fac