What policies govern the type of discipline my child can experience at school?
Each school district has a Student Code of Conduct to which students must follow. If a student violates the Code of Conduct, depending on the severity of the violation, they may be subject to disciplinary action including in-school suspension, short-term or long-term out-of-school suspension, 365-day suspension, and expulsion. A suspension that results in a student being removed from the academic setting for 10 days or more is considered a long-term suspension.
What if my child is disciplined because of behavior that is related to their disability?
Students with disabilities are entitled to a Manifest Determination Review ("MDR") if an out of school suspension results in a change in placement. A change in placement occurs when the student is excluded from school for 10 days or more. If it is determined at the MDR that the behavior that resulted in the student's suspension is a result of their disabilities, the student generally cannot be suspended or expelled beyond the tenth day.
What if my child has frequent behavior/discipline problems, but is not identified as a student with a disability?
In some cases, if a student has many disciplinary referrals, but is not yet identified as a student with a disability, a school district should, and/or a parent can, request that the student be evaluated to determine if the student has a disability which may be impacting his academic performance and/or behavior.
What happens if my child is the victim of excessive discipline?
Sometimes, school principals and administrators may issue a punishment that is too severe for the offense. In these cases, students may be entitled to a hearing and/or appeal of the disciplinary decision. The use of excessive discipline may adversely impact the physical and mental wellbeing of the student (e.g. the use of unauthorized seclusion and restraint). This is often the reason why parents may choose to explore options concerning excessive discipline.
We can assist if your student has been suspended, expelled or if your student is a victim of excessive discipline by ensuring that the Student Code of Conduct was applied appropriately, appealing long term suspensions or expulsions, and by advocating for your students’ rights regarding school discipline.
Contact us today.