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Suspension and Discipline in Special Education (2019)

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Suspension and Discipline in Special Education (2019)

  1. 1. INFORMING, EDUCATING, EMPOWERING FAMILIES 617-236-7210 | www.fcsn.org | fcsninfo@fcsn.org Suspension and Discipline Parent Training and Information Center
  2. 2. Who We Are The Federation for Children with Special Needs promotes quality education, parent participation and access to quality health care services for all children, especially those with disabilities. The Parent Training and Information Center is a project of the Federation. It provides free information, support, technical assistance and affordable workshops to families who have children with disabilities and the professionals who work with them. Workshop contents were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M140014. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of US Department of Education; you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
  3. 3. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Workshop Objectives I. Define school responsibilities related to discipline II. Describe range of consequences for discipline-related violations III. Discuss procedures for out of school suspensions IV. Summarize legal protections for children with disabilities V. Apply information to case scenarios
  4. 4. © Federation for Children with Special Needs
  5. 5. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is the school’s role in discipline? (See 603 CMR 53.01) According to MA law, schools should: Keep schools safe and supportive for all students while ensuring fair and effective disciplinary practices Promote engagement of parent in discussion of misconduct and options for responding to it Limit use of long-term suspension for non-serious misconduct Assure receipt of education services so student makes academic progress during suspension or expulsion
  6. 6. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and IDEA See 20 USC 1414d(3)(B)(i) If a child’s behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), and other strategies, to address behavior Disability-related behaviors should be addressed in IEP – PBIS is an appropriate way to do this
  7. 7. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What can schools do when a school rule has been violated? Check the handbook!  conduct rules  consequences and  discipline proceedings for rule violations Parent must always be notified of suspensions or discipline of any kind
  8. 8. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Range of rule violation consequences 1. Behavior Contracts, Detention & Loss of Privilege 2. In-School Suspension 3. School or Community Service Requirement 4. Short-Term & Long-Term Suspension 5. Removal to an Interim Alternate Education Program (IAEP) 6. Emergency Removals 7. Expulsion This workshop addresses #: 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7
  9. 9. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is in-school suspension (ISS)? Student remains at school but is removed from classroom activities Continues to do school work ISS days can be counted toward total suspension days Student has opportunity to explain actions. Parents must be notified and invited to a meeting to discuss.
  10. 10. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is short-term suspension? An exclusion from school for 10 days or fewer Includes any day parent is required to pick up child early for behavior, regardless of the time of day; ask for an incident report each time Suspensions never carry over past the end of school year
  11. 11. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is long-term suspension? Removal from school or regular classroom activities for more than 10 school days in a row or for more than 10 school days total in school year No more than 90 days in the school year
  12. 12. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is an IAES? See 34 CFR section 300.530(e) Interim Alternative Education Settings (IAES) is a product of federal regulations under IDEA School districts have the authority to place a student in an IAES for up to 45 school/working days for weapons, drugs, and/or serious bodily harm, regardless of whether the IEP Team determines that the student’s behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability.
  13. 13. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is an emergency removal? See 603 CMR 53.07 Student is charged with a disciplinary offense and principal determines that continued school presence:  poses a danger to persons or property; or  Significantly disrupts order of school Only to be used if no alternative in principal’s judgment Immediate effort to notify parent orally and in writing Principal must confirm provisions for student’s safety and transportation before removal Hearing held during removal period
  14. 14. © Federation for Children with Special Needs School must notify student & parent orally & in writing before suspension (except for emergency & “serious offense” suspensions) Oral notice:  at least two attempts to contact parent using emergency contact information Written notice must be:  In English & primary home language  In plain language  Sent by hand, 1st class mail, certified mail, email or other method agreed to by parent Out-of-School Suspension Procedures See 603 CMR 53.06(2)
  15. 15. © Federation for Children with Special Needs 1. Disciplinary offense 2. Basis for the charge 3. Potential consequences, including potential length of suspension 4. Opportunity for meeting 5. Date, time and location of meeting with principal 6. Right to interpreter services if needed Content of suspension notice See 603 CMR 53.06
  16. 16. © Federation for Children with Special Needs 1. May review student’s record and documents relating to proposed suspension before meeting 2. May bring someone to help you with meeting 3. Witnesses, including student, may speak at meeting 4. Meeting can be recorded on request, parents to receive a copy 5. Parent and principal can discuss behavior and mitigating circumstances at meeting 6. Principal must give parents a written decision after hearing that explains key facts, suspension dates and appeal process 7. Students may appeal decision to superintendent within 5 days (extension to 7 days is available) Meeting rights for long-term suspensions
  17. 17. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What happens at meeting with principal? See 603 CMR 53.08 Principal explains basis for charge, hears and considers information, and determines appropriate consequence Opportunity to dispute charges and explain circumstances Opportunity for academic progress For suspended students in grade 3 or younger - written notice to superintendent with reasons for suspension Determination in writing on the day of meeting
  18. 18. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What is expulsion? Removal of a student from the school premises, regular classroom activities, and school activities for more than 90 school days, indefinitely or permanently.
  19. 19. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Public policy to use expulsion as last resort See MGL, Chap.71, Sec. 37H ¾ Decision maker shall:  exercise discretion  consider ways to re-engage student in the learning process and  avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been tried
  20. 20. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Serious offenses See MGL Ch. 71, Sec. 37H And Sec. 37H ½ Expulsions and suspensions for offenses below are different than handbook violations. Zero tolerance continues for these offenses After hearing with principal for: 1. being in possession of a dangerous weapon 2. being in possession of drugs or alcohol or 3. assaulting school staff Students can be suspended for being charged or expelled for being convicted of a felony regardless of where it happened
  21. 21. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Receipt of education services All suspended and expelled students are entitled to earn credits, make up assignments, and make academic progress. Additionally, long-term suspended and expelled students may receive: • Tutoring • Online learning • Alternative school settings • Saturday school
  22. 22. © Federation for Children with Special Needs School’s Education Service Plan See MGL Ch. 76, Section 21 School must have an Education Service Plan (ESP) ESP lists options for students expelled or suspended for more than 10 consecutive days to continue education School must provide student and parents with a list of two or more educational options from which to choose
  23. 23. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Legal Protections for Students on IEPs • For any suspension longer than 10 days OR • For shorter suspensions totaling more than 10 days as part of a pattern of behavior • a special Team meeting called a Manifestation Determination must be held BEFORE any suspension can be made
  24. 24. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Was child’s disability the cause of conduct or directly and substantially related? OR Was conduct due to IEP not being implemented by school? Questions for Manifestation Determination Meeting
  25. 25. © Federation for Children with Special Needs If answer to either question is yes Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) must be done and Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan (PBIP) developed and incorporated in the IEP OR Existing FBA must be updated, existing PBIP must be modified to address student’s behavior and changes incorporated in the IEP This is opportunity to address child’s emotional and behavioral challenges and needs so the behavior does not happen again
  26. 26. © Federation for Children with Special Needs If answer to both questions is no, then… Student is subject to discipline determined appropriate in Handbook and under discipline procedures Team’s decision may be appealed to Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) on an expedited basis
  27. 27. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Right to manifestation determination, but…  no specific questions required  No specific team member attendance required If incident involves illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons or felony charges, student may be expelled without a manifest determination Rights of a student on a 504 Plan See 34 CFR 104.35(c); 34 CFR 104.36 and 29 USC 705(20)(c)(iv)
  28. 28. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Student Scenario Exercise #1 School calls you at 11:00 am to come pick up your young daughter again. She misbehaves in the classroom and teacher can’t handle her. Group discussion questions: 1. Is this a suspension? 2. If yes, what type of suspension is it? 3. Should it be written up? Why or why not? 4. What steps should parent take to address child’s needs and behaviors?
  29. 29. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Student Scenario Exercise #2 The teacher saw John’s agenda book. In it, there was a list of people under heading: I should kill them all. During a meeting with principal, John could not or would not explain why he created the list. John was suspended for 5 days. He has had 2 prior suspensions for 3 days each. Group discussion questions: 1. What type of suspension is this? 2. Do we have information we need to respond to the suspension? 3. What next steps should parent take?
  30. 30. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Student Scenario Exercise #2 continued Now we know John has an IEP for Autism and ADHD. Academically he has no problem but he is very impulsive and has significant social deficits. Group discussion questions: 1. How does this information change what should happen before suspension is given? 2. Where will you look for ways to answer Manifestation Determination questions?
  31. 31. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Student Scenario Exercise #2 continued During meeting with principal, John became visibly upset. He started crying, pulling his hair out, and stabbing himself with a pencil, causing drops of blood to appear. He called principal a racial epithet and demanded that school not notify his parents. Group discussion question: 1. What will school likely do in this situation?
  32. 32. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Student Scenario Exercise #3 You come home to a voicemail message informing you there will be an expulsion hearing tomorrow morning with principal. A bag of drugs was found in your son’s locker. Your son tells you it doesn’t belong to him; another student asked him to give bag to third student. When son tried to explain this, principal sent him home. Group discussion question: 1. What steps should parent take?
  33. 33. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Strategies to help your child stay out of trouble at school Take steps to get help for your child. Child’s pediatrician is a good place to start Ask school in writing for an FBA; keep copy of request Talk to IEP Team about PBIS and consider how to follow through at home for consistency Work to maintain a cooperative relationship with IEP Team and regularly communicate with teachers Consider whether child needs private evaluation
  34. 34. © Federation for Children with Special Needs What to do when your child has a discipline problem at school? Listen and try to understand what happened Problem solve with your child Do not punish your child twice Request in writing all incident reports Request copies of evidence the school has of incident Maintain frequent communication with the school
  35. 35. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Thank You For Coming Please complete these forms: 1. Demographic Data Collection & 2. Workshop Evaluation The Parent Training & Information Center is funded by a federal grant, which requires us to collect the information in the forms below: Kindly return completed forms to workshop presenter
  36. 36. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Massachusetts Laws & Regulations Discipline: • Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 71, Sections 37H, 37H ½, & 37H ¾ • Chapter 76, Section 21 – Education Service Plans • 603 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 53.00 Restraint: • MGL Chapter 71, Section 37G • 603 CMR 46.00 Look up Massachusetts Laws here: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws Look up Massachusetts regulations here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/stateregs
  37. 37. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Advisory on Discipline, 2015 http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/discipline/ StudentDiscipline.html Technical assistance advisory on time out and seclusion http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/2016-1ta.html Q&A on restraint http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/QuestionAnswerGui de-603CMR.pdf DESE Technical Assistance Advisories:
  38. 38. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Resources on Manifestation Determinations The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) is the Federal special education law. The law on Manifestation Determinations is 20 United States Code 1415(k)(1)(E) You can read it here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1415 The regulations provide more detail. They are at 34 Code of Federal Regulations 300.530(e)&(f) You can read them here: www.ecfr.gov – Select Title 34, then choose the section.
  39. 39. © Federation for Children with Special Needs Resources on Prevention More on PBIS: https://www.pbis.org/pbis-network/massachusetts Collaborative Problem Solving: http://www.thinkkids.org/learn/our- collaborative-problem-solving-approach/ and http://www.livesinthebalance.org Restorative Justice: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/restorative-justice- resources-matt-davis Social Emotional Learning principles: http://www.casel.org/ Trauma Informed care training: https://traumasensitiveschools.org/ Pyramid Model (Early Childhood): http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/states.html Rights Regarding The Use Of Restraint In Massachusetts Public Schools by MHLAC http://www.mhlac.org/Docs/restraint_in_Mass_public_schools.pdf
  40. 40. CALL CENTER FREE info about Special Education Rights http://fcsn.org/ptic/call-center/ 617-236-7210 Mon-Fri 10am-3pm WORKSHOPS (FREE to participants) - A IEP For My Child - Intro to Transition Planning - Effective Communication AND MORE! http//fcsn.org/ptic/workshops The PTIC provides special education training, information, and support to families who speak: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Haitian Creole and Vietnamese Parent Consultant Training Institute An in-depth training for parents in a 54-hour tuition-based program. http://fcsn.org/ptic/parent- consultant-training
  41. 41. INFORMING, EDUCATING, EMPOWERING FAMILIES 617-236-7210 | www.fcsn.org | fcsninfo@fcsn.org

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