Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Paul Chapman.


Current literature reveals the disparity between the knowledge that strong parent-school partnerships are integral to planning and implementing educational programming for exceptional children, and the ability of parents and school personnel to identify and deescalate conflict when it occurs. Several studies acknowledged variables that helped build and maintain strong parent-school collaboration, and identified factors that escalated or de-escalated parent conflict. However, the research is sparse regarding factors that impact points of impasse on conflict escalation between parents and school districts during the special education conflict resolution process. Such information could provide stakeholders with deeper insight into the dynamic aspects of the parent-school relationship that may escalate conflict between the two parties, and allow stakeholders to pinpoint where errors in conflict resolution arise.;The case study approach was used to provide a rich description of how one family and school district experienced factors that impacted points of impasse on parent-school conflict escalation during the special education resolution process. Data from the archived record of The Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 21 v. Illinois Board of Education (1991) were analyzed using the constant comparative method as described by Maycut and Morehouse (1994).;Lake and Billingsley (2000) identified eight factors that contributed to parent-school conflict. The findings in this study suggested that trust was the fundamental factor that impacts parent-school conflict escalation in this case. If trust was present, the impact of key and contributing factors on parent-school conflict diminished. If trust was not present, key factors of communication and discrepant view of the child directly impacted points of impasse and influenced contributing factors' impact on conflict escalation. This study also found that trust and the key factors were not identified by the parties as factors that impacted conflict. Yet, the contributing factors of valuation, constraints, knowledge, reciprocal power and service delivery were readily identifiable by the parties in this case.