Discipline and the Child With Disabilities

discipline1Discipline and the Child With Disabilities
Children with disabilities can and do engage in misbehavior at school and the question that the district must resolve is how to address this misbehavior so that the child with disabilities still receives a free, appropriate public education (FAPE)

Do I have the right to remove a student from my classroom for disciplinary reasons?
Yes. TEC 37.002 gives the teacher the authority to remove a student from the classroom whose behavior interferes with instruction or learning.

May a child with a disability be removed as a Chapter 37 Removal?
Yes; Section 300.530(a)(1) of IDEA does allow school personnel to remove a child with a disability from the current placement so long as it does not exceed ten consecutive or cumulative days. Services have to be provided if the same services are provided to a child without disabilities who is similarly removed.

What happens if the removal exceeds ten consecutive or cumulative days?
Once the child with a disability has been removed for ten days, it constitutes a change of placement and provisions must be made to ensure the child is receiving FAPE as prescribed in the child’s IEP. Also, the child may receive a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) and appropriate behavioral interventions must be implemented to ensure the misbehavior does not recur. Any removal for ten or more days triggers a manifestation determination.

What is a manifestation determination?
The manifestation determination requires all appropriate members of the ARD committee to review all relevant information to determine if the misbehavior in question was caused by (or had a direct and substantial relationship to) the child’s disability; or if the misbehavior was the direct result of the failure to implement the IEP and provide FAPE. Either one determines that the child’s misbehavior is a manifestation of the disability.

The child must receive a FBA and a Behavior Intervention Plan must be developed or, if one is already in place, modified to address the misbehavior. The child must also be returned to the appropriate placement pursuant to the IEP that is in place.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens if the misbehavior involves a weapon, drugs, or injury to others or the child?
The school district may remove a child with a disability, to an alternate setting, for misbehavior that involves a weapon, drugs, or injury to self or others for not more than 45 school days without regard to a manifestation determination.

2. Is the child still entitled to receive special education services?
Yes, the child must continue to receive services prescribed in the IEP.

3. How does this apply to children who are no longer receiving or who have never received special
education services?

The protections under IDEA apply to all children with disabilities AND the students the district has knowledge of as having a disability.

4. In what ways is a district deemed to have knowledge of a child having a disability?
Obviously, any child who is currently receiving Special Education Services but they also apply in the following situations:
a. a parent has expressed concern in writing to the district;
b. a teacher has expressed a specific concern to the Director of Special Education or other supervisory
personnel within the school district;
c. the child is receiving services through Section 504 of ADA;
d. parents have given consent for a comprehensive individual assessment for their child, even if it has not been completed.

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