Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)

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This case was put in place as a result of the poor academic performance of Shannon Carter as stipulated in the constitution under the legislation of the education for the handicapped. Shannon Carter was a disabled student in South Carolina. She was a student at the Florence County School. Her Individualized Education Program (IEP) was apparently against the basic rights of a disabled learner. This type of education program was specifically designed for her by the school administration (United States District Court of South Carolina, 1991).

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As a result of filling the case in court, several consecutive trials were heard between 1988 and 1989. The supplemental filings were then made by the counsel of the parties taking part in the case. Consequently, it reached a time when the decision was to be made by the court. After careful consideration of the submissions that were made by the counsel of both the plaintiff and defendant and also after bearing in mind Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the presiding jury was left with no other option but to publish its facts and findings.


From the case presented in the court of law, it was established that Florence County School was indeed the institution that enrolled Shannon Carter in first grade. She was later transferred to a private school (after one year) after she was withdrawn from her previous public school. She repeated the class while at Roy Hudgens Academy.


In its ruling, the Court held that since she was later re-admitted in Timmonsville public school while in the 7th grade, it may have affected her performance in class. After the IQ test was carried out on Shannon, it was found out that her achievement was average and that she could not be enrolled in a disabled class. She proceeded to the 9th grade at Timmonsville High School during the fall of 1984.

Rule or Test

Since her parents were not contented at all with the IQ results, they sought legal assistance so that their child could not be placed under the learning disability program. After the court thoroughly evaluated the standards of the various schools attended by Shannon, it came to the conclusion of the law based on the provisions of the Education of the Handicapped Act and other sources of supportive statutes (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2011).

Previous decisions of the lower courts

The Hendrick Hudson District Board of Education v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 of 1981 was similar to this case. In addition, the decisions taken by the jury were similar. According to what was held by the court, the provision of personalized guidance is part and parcel of the process required when making a follow-up to children who are handicapped. The instruction is meant to benefit the recipient fully.

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The rationale of the ruling

They continued catering for the education of their child in a regular schooling system even though her performance was deteriorating. Subsequent IQ tests revealed that Shannon was indeed a disabled learner who needed special placement in a school designed for children with a learning disability. Unfortunately, Shannon had spent a lot of time and financial resources courtesy of her parents. This is the reason why the court ordered the defendants to compensate the plaintiff a total sum of $35,716.11.

Scope of holding

After the court made several deliberations and legal interpretations of the law relative to the case at hand, it came clear that it was the duty of the school to provide accurate information regarding the learning ability of Shannon. Since the previous tests indicated that Shannon was an average learner and that there was no need of being enrolled in a special school, her parents had no fault at all (Artmann, 2012).

Unresolved questions/issues

Section 504 of the law that addresses the rehabilitation of handicapped individuals should be interpreted well. For example, the benchmarks required for an individual to meet the rehabilitation program should be clearly stated.


Artmann, R. (2012). Use of IQ in the United States legal system. Web.

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Jacob, S., Decker, M.D. & Hartshorne, S.T. (2011). Ethics and Law for School Psychologists. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

United States District Court of South Carolina (1991). Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990). Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, April 7). Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990). Retrieved from


ChalkyPapers. (2022, April 7). Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990).

Work Cited

"Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)." ChalkyPapers, 7 Apr. 2022,


ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)'. 7 April.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)." April 7, 2022.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)." April 7, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Shannon Carter v. Florence County Sch. Dist. IV (SC 1990)." April 7, 2022.