According to the dictionary, discipline is “training that develops self-control, character, or orderliness and efficiency.” Most people think of discipline in terms of punishment or consequences for violating rules.
Schools’ discipline policies reflect this idea and set up consequences stating what will happen when a student violates a rule. These conduct policies apply to most students in a district. The student with a disability is governed by these policies, with some special consideration given to the consequences, depending on the misbehavior and its relationship to the student’s disability.
STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS
(WAC 180-40-210 AND 180-40-215)
The school system’s mission is to provide learning experiences which will assist all students to develop skills, competencies, and attitudes that are fundamental to their achievement as responsible, contributing citizens. This mission cannot be accomplished unless each student assumes responsibility for pursuing his/her course of studies, complying with written rules, and submitting to reasonable corrective action or punishment for violation(s) of such rules.
School districts cannot limit the following student rights except for good and sufficient cause:
- No student may be unlawfully denied an equal educational opportunity or be unlawfully discriminated against because of national origin, race, religion, economic status, sex, pregnancy, marital status, previous arrest, previous incarceration, or a physical, mental or sensory disability.
- All students possess the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and press; to peaceable assembly; and to petition the government and its representatives for a redress of grievances, subject to reasonable limitations, upon the time, place, and manner of exercising grievances and such right.
- All students possess the constitutional right to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
- All students have the right to be free from unlawful interference in their pursuit of an education while in the custody of a common school district.
- No student may be deprived of the right to an equal educational opportunity in whole or in part by a school district without due process of law.
Students with disabilities have the same rights and responsibilities as all other students. In addition there are other procedures and safeguards to be followed for students with disabilities.
THE IEP AND STUDENTS WITH BEHAVIORAL NEEDS
Before examining discipline practices for students with disabilities, it is important to understand the IEP (Individualized Education Program). The IEP describes the program that each student in special education receives. It is based on evaluations and includes information on all services and program needs for each student.
Any areas of adjustment of behavior that interferes with the child’s learning and performance should be addressed on the IEP.
- The present level of performance should include frequency of behavior problems. The checklist on page 6 will help establish this and suggest areas to consider.
- Set annual Goals and Short-term Objectives that address behavioral areas of difficulty. (See examples of Goals & Objectives on pp. 7 & 8)
- Define the special Education services the child needs:
- Counseling services
- Parent counseling and training
- Psychological services
- Paraprofessionals to provide for students safety or instructional assistance
POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION PLANS
FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENTS
If a student has significant behavior problems, a Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan may be needed. In order to develop an appropriate plan, the school should conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment. It must be done if the student is to be suspended for more than 10 school days in a school year. The school psychologist and others knowledgeable about the student’s behavior, including the parent, conduct this assessment.
A Functional Behavioral Assessment is a process that seeks to identify the problem behavior a child or adolescent may exhibit, particularly in school, to determine the function or purpose of the behavior.
The process is:
- Identify the behavior that needs to change.
- Collect data on the behavior.
- Develop a “hypothesis” (best guess) about the reason for the behavior.
- Develop an intervention to help change the behavior.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.
- Have patience.
The first step in conducting a functional behavioral assessment is for the team to identify and agree upon the behavior that most needs to be changed. It will be important to develop a prioritized list, so that the most severe behaviors can be addressed first. There will be times when the most appropriate response to irritating but non-dangerous behaviors is planned ignoring, particularly when the student is working on correcting more severe behaviors.
The second step is to collect data on the occurrence of the targeted behavior, identifying not only its frequency and intensity, but examining the context (the when, where and how) of the behavior.
- In what settings does the behavior occur most often?
- Where did it occur most recently?
- Who else was there?
- What is unique about the environment where the behavior occurred? (Size of classroom, number of students, teaching style, seating, distractions, academic/behavioral expectations, structure, etc.)
- What other behavior occurred just before the targeted behavior? (interaction with another student, change in tasks, teacher direction, etc.)
- What were the immediate consequences of the behavior? (teacher attention, student laughter, etc.)
- Could the consequences be seen as positive for the student?
The third step is to develop, from the data collected, a hypothesis about the function or purpose of the student’s behavior and to develop an intervention.
- What does the team believe is the reason for the behavior? (attention-getting, avoidance, peer acceptance, etc.)
- What is the agreed upon strategy to correct the behavior?
- How much time will be given to implementing the intervention? (Patience is key to behavioral change.)
After the intervention has been tried over a period of time, it will be important to test the hypothesis. Does the intervention need to be paired with other modifications or rewards to increase its effectiveness? Did the intervention reduce the problem behavior? If not, what other strategies can be considered? Is it necessary to reevaluate the hypothesis, or to develop another best guess about the reason for the behavior, or to collect more information? While conducting a functional assessment of a child’s behavior may take a bit more time initially to complete, for those students for whom typical interventions have not been successful, developing an understanding of the cause of behavior may be key to helping them learn new behavioral skills.
Functional assessments have been used for many years with students who have severe disabilities, to help parents and teachers to understand the function of inappropriate behavior, and to plan effective interventions. Functional assessments are also a useful approach to evaluating the reason for inappropriate behaviors for students who have milder disabilities, when their behaviors do not improve with the use of typical school interventions. As a part of the IEP, the parents and school, together, identify appropriate school strategies for dealing with specific behaviors. The IEP team may also want to consider additional related services.
The use of Aversive Intervention is a decision that must be reached at the IEP meeting with full parent participation. Parents should consider this carefully. Only they may know how their student reacts to different painful or unpleasant situations.
The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-172A-03130 through 392-172A-03135 defines and regulates Interventions called aversive. These include any treatment that a student finds unpleasant and that is used to control undesirable behavior. It doesn’t include restraint or reasonable force used to control unpredicted spontaneous behavior that poses a clear and present danger of: harm to the student him/herself, another student or property, or seriously disrupting the educational process. The regulations prohibit some forms of aversive interventions, while controlling those allowed. All aversive interventions to be used with the student must be detailed on the IEP. These details should include:
- The aversive intervention that may be used;
- The reason for the aversive intervention and what behavior changes should happen;
- The positive interventions tried and why they failed, if known;
- When the aversive therapy is to be used;
- Maximum duration of isolation or restraint;
- Any special precautions needed to use the aversive intervention with the student;
- Exactly who can use the aversive intervention and their qualifications; and
- A means of evaluating the effects of the aversive intervention.
A school district employee who understands how to use aversive interventions and agrees that it should be used with the student must assist in designing all aversive interventions.
These are some examples of Behavioral Goals & Objectives that may be included in an IEP.
GOAL 1: IMROVE SOCIAL INTERACTION SKILLS
1. Will decrease negative physical contact with others (touching girls, poking, grabbing) to an average of ______ occurrences or less for _________days by ___/___/___.
2. Will demonstrate acceptable alternatives to negative actions by (specify) ____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
3. Will ask for help appropriately by (specify)_____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
GOAL 2: IMPROVE WORK STUDY SKILLS
1. Will bring material (specify) to class _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
2. Will decrease off-task behaviors (specify) which require teacher intervention _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
3. Will turn in completed homework on time _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
GOAL 3: IMPROVE ATTENDANCE HABITS
1. Will arrive to classes on time (tardiness) _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
2. Will attend assigned classes (attendance) _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
GOAL 4: COMPLY TO ADULT DIRECTION AND CORRECTION
1. Will comply to teacher direction and correction without negative verbal or non-verbal responses (specify) to an average of ____ occurrences or less for ____ days by ___/___/___.
2. Will follow written and oral directions _____% of the time as measured by the number of occurrences divided by the number of opportunities by ___/___/___.
GOAL 5: DECREASE DISRUPTIVE CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR
1. Will decrease inappropriate talking out (specify) to an average of _____ occurrences or less for _____ days by ___/___/___.
2. Will decrease inappropriate out-of-seat behaviors to an average of _____ occurrences or less for _____days by ___/___/___.
3. Will decrease verbal and/or physical tantrums to an average of _____ occurrences or less for _____days by ___/___/___.
4. Will decrease destructive behavior (specify) to an average of _____occurrences or less for _____days by ___/___/___.
Along with goals and objectives there should be a statement of the services that the school district will provide to assist the student to meet those goals and objectives. Examples of services are:
- study skills class (which meets __ time per week for __ minutes);
- anger management instruction;
- social instruction (by psychologist or social worker for __ minutes per week);
- consultation with parents __ times per week so there is program consistency
between home and school.
The following definitions of Discipline, Suspension and Expulsion are important for understanding the processes involved in the suspension and expulsion of a student with a disability.
“Discipline” means all forms of corrective action or punishment other than suspension and expulsion.
It includes the exclusion of a student from class by a teacher of administrator for a period of time not exceeding the balance of the immediate class period; but the student must be in the custody of a school district employee for the balance of that period.
Discipline also means the exclusion of a student from any other type of activity conducted by or on behalf of a school district, such as an extracurricular activity.
“Suspension” means a denial of attendance (other than for the balance of the immediate class period for “discipline” purposes) at any single subject or class, or at any full schedule of subjects or classes for a stated period of time. A suspension also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the school district.
- “In-school Suspension” means the student will continue to attend school.
- “Short-term suspension” means a suspension for any portion of a calendar day up to and not exceeding ten consecutive school days.
- “Long-term suspension” means a suspension that exceeds ten consecutive school days.
“Emergency Expulsion” means the immediate removal of a student from school because he/she poses a continuing and substantial danger to self or others or a constant threat of substantial disruption to the educational process.
“Expulsion” means a denial of attendance at any single subject or class or at any full schedule of subjects or classes for an indefinite period of time. An expulsion also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the school district.
“Illegal drug” means a controlled substance, but does not include a substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or under any other provision of federal law.
“Dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than two and one-half inches in length.
“Serious Bodily Injury” means bodily injury, which involves any of the following: substantial risk of death; extreme pain; protracted and obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body member, organ, or mental faculty.
“Substantial evidence” means beyond a preponderance of the evidence.
All students including students with disabilities are subject to discipline for violation of student conduct rules. However, if a pattern of disciplinary actions develops, it may indicate that the placement or the IEP is inappropriate. Meetings to discuss student discipline can provide a good opportunity for parents and the school to review a student’s progress, talk about problems that may have been slowly building up, and create a coordinated behavior intervention plan.
A student with a disability is treated like other students when considering in-school suspension or short-term suspension. In suspending a student, school administrators must:
- Describe the infraction;
- Give the student a chance to tell his/her side;
- Notify the parents of the suspension, the conditions for reinstatement and the appeal procedure.
Schools have the right to immediately expel students from school (emergency expulsion), if they are a danger to themselves or to others, and to notify parents afterwards. Parents must be informed both of the conditions of the suspension or expulsion and of the student’s misconduct.
Before a student with a disability can be suspended or expelled for longer than 10 consecutive days, there must be a manifestation determination to decide if the misbehavior is related to the student’s disability.
WAC 392-172A-05145 states that these decisions must be made by the IEP team, which includes the parent(s), and the other relevant individuals, at a meeting called for that purpose.
SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION
The purpose of suspension and expulsion, as it is being used in Washington State, is to bring about a substantial change in the behavior patterns of students. This form of discipline is to be used as a ‘last resort’ and has brought about a certain measure of success for some students. However the validity of suspension and expulsion for any student must be brought into question, especially those with disabilities adversely affecting their education. Is the behavior of students with disabilities such that they create an immediate and continuing danger to themselves and to others? Do they really pose a continuing threat of substantial disruption in their classes? A large percentage of them do not! The slightest bending of school rules has sent many children home. The laws regarding discipline are found in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 180-40. They were passed by the State Board of Education and were adopted following a United States Supreme Court case, Goss v Lopez, in 1975, which indicated that all students had a right to a due process hearing before imposition of a long-term suspension and/or expulsion.
IDEA 2004 and the recently revised WAC, regulate the way suspension and expulsion can be used for students with disabilities. WAC 392-172A-05140 through WAC 392-172A-05175 exist to ensure that students with disabilities are not improperly excluded from school for disciplinary reasons. Each school district must make sure that its employees and contractors are knowledgeable of these regulations. No school district shall authorize, permit or condone disciplinary procedures that violate these WACs by any employee or contractor.
A copy of Washington Administrative Code regulations regarding discipline, WAC 180-40 and WAC 392-172A-05140 through WAC 392-172A-05175, is included in this packet.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION
- CAN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES BE SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED? Yes, they can. All students are covered by the same school rules. However, once a student with a disability has been suspended for 10 days, the IEP team meets to determine: (a) if the behavior that warrants the suspension or expulsion is related to the disability; (b) if the present program is appropriate; and (c) what other alternatives have been tried and failed. If the behavior is not related to the disability and the program is appropriate, the student may be suspended or expelled. However, parents always have the right to challenge the suspension/expulsion.
- ARE THE SCHOOLS REEQUIRED TO TRY OTHER ALTERNATIVES BEFORE SUSPENSION/EXPULSION? Yes. With a short-term suspension/expulsion (portion of a school day, not to exceed 10 days ), it is generally a matter of the student and parent meeting with the school principal, teacher(s), and others involved, to work out methods to correct the behavior, unless the short-term suspensions become a pattern of exclusion.
With long-term suspension/expulsion, Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 180-40-260 states that no student shall be suspended unless other forms of corrective action or punishment reasonably calculated to modify his/her conduct have been tried, for the same type of misbehavior. Parents should request in writing what forms of punishment have been tried and why they failed. According to WAC 392-172-377, the school district must convene an IEP meeting to plan for a functional behavioral assessment and then develop a positive behavioral intervention plan to address the misbehavior. If a plan already exists, the IEP team must review the plan and how it is being followed, modifying it as needed, to address the misbehavior.
- ARE THERE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BEFORE LONG-TERM SUSPENDING OR EXPELLING A SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENT? Yes, the procedures are:
An IEP meeting with at least one of the student’s teachers and other relevant team members, including the student and/or his/her parents, must be held. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a manifestation determination that will determine:
- If the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability; or
- If the conduct in question was a direct result of the school district’s failure to implement the IEP.
The conduct in question must be determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, if the school district, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team determine that either condition 1 or 2 of this section has been met. The school district must then take immediate steps to remedy the situation.
- Conduct a functional behavior assessment (unless one has been conducted prior).
- Implement a behavioral intervention plan. (If one exists, revise the current plan.)
- Return student to previous placement from which they were removed, unless school and parent agree to the change of placement as part of the revising of the behavioral intervention plan.
- Please note: Under Special Circumstances, school personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, if the student:
- Carries or possesses a weapon at school, school premises, or school functions under the jurisdiction of a school district;
- Possesses, uses, sells, or solicits illegal drugs; or
- Inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a school district.
Notification to the parents must be provided on the date of the decision to make a removal that constitutes a change of placement and procedural safeguards must also be provided.
When a student’s behavior is disruptive to the education of others, the IEP team (of which the parent is a part) should consider the following options:
- Additional related services;
- A more intensive behavior intervention program in the student’s current placement;
- The provision of a special education program in another, possibly more restrictive, setting. Parents and school personnel might explore some of the following alternatives in determining the least restrictive environment when considering placement options during an expulsion period:
- A program in a different school in the district;
- A school program in a neighboring school district;
- An alternative school or alternative program within the district;
- A private school;
- A day treatment facility or residential facility.
The school district remains responsible for providing appropriate educational and related services, including access to the general education curriculum, during periods of suspension, in excess of 10 school days or expulsion.
4. WHAT IS EMERGENCY EXPULSION? This type of expulsion is the most commonly used. A student can be removed from the program immediately by a certificated teacher or administrator, without prior notice or hearing, to determine the validity of the reasons for the expulsion. However, it is to be used only under the following conditions:
- A student’s presence poses an immediate and ongoing danger to him/herself, other students, or school personnel; or
- The student’s conduct is an immediate and continuing threat of substantive disruption of the program.
Again, parents should get a written, detailed account of any violent action or ongoing disruptive behavior by the student that made it necessary to expel the child. The emergency continues until the superintendent or his/her designee modifies it or reverses it as the result of a hearing or an appeal.
5. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE STUDENT’S IEP (INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PROGRAM) DURING SUSPENSION/EXPUSLION? Access to general education, special education and related services cannot be denied during suspensions/expulsions.
A suspension longer than 10 consecutive days constitutes a change of placement. This obligates the school district to provide services to the extent necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals set out in the student’s IEP.
- IF THE PARENT DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE SUSPENSION/EXPULSION, WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? Parents have the right to request a due process hearing to contest the school district’s decision to expel the student. If a hearing is requested, the student remains in his/her current placement (the placement the student is in prior to suspension/expulsion) until the hearing is over. There are exceptions to this stay-put rule.
School personnel may order a change in placement of a special education student to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if:
- The student possesses a weapon, or carries a weapon to school or to a school function; or
- The student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.
A hearing officer may order a change of placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more that 45 days in an expedited due process hearing for a dangerous student. The school district must demonstrate by substantial evidence that maintaining the current placement of the student is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others. The hearing officer must consider the appropriateness of the student’s current placement; whether the district has made reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of harm in the current placement, including the use of supplementary aids and services; and determines that the proposed placement is appropriate.
Appeal procedures are outlined in Washington Administrative Code 180-40. Parents’ rights and steps to follow to challenge or appeal the suspension/expulsion should be provided to the parent with the suspension/expulsion notice. DO NOT ALLOW A SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION TO HAPPEN WITHOUT A CHALLENGE, APPEAL OR HEARING!
- WHAT IS MEANT BY “IN-SCHOOL” SUSPENSION? Basically, this is the removal of students from the classroom setting into another setting within the school building. If this setting or room is staffed and the students receive counseling and assistance to help them regain control over themselves, along with help to keep up with their studies, then in-school suspension can be helpful. However, very few schools have this arrangement. If in-school suspension is used in your school, look into it carefully and be sure it is appropriate for your child.
- WHAT IS MEANT BY AN APPROPRIATE ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING? Any interim alternative educational setting in which a student is placed shall be selected to enable the student to:
- Continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting;
- Continue to receive those services and modifications, including what is in the IEP, that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in that IEP; and
- Include services and modifications designed to address the behavior (bringing dangerous weapons or knowingly bringing illegal substances to school or displaying dangerous behavior) and prevent it from recurring.
9. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT A STUDENT FROM BEING SUSPENDED/EXPELLED? In most cases, yes. Parents need to have safeguards or alternatives written into the IEP. For instance, the parent will be notified each time the child acts out at school. Also, volunteering at the school is another good method of keeping track of the activities that take place there. Monitor your child’s program; visit from time to time. Establish good communication with the school. Always be honest about your child, but portray him/her in a favorable way.
10. What are “Unique Circumstances”? School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether or not a change in placement is appropriate for the student after he/she violates a code of student conduct. (Possible factors to consider…child’s disciplinary history; school personnel who know the individual student; student’s ability to understand consequences; expression of remorse; supports provided to the child prior to the school violation.)
ALTERNATIVES TO SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION
PROPOSED BY THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
The following recommendations are for short, medium or long-range non-punitive approaches to discipline.
Short Range Solutions
The first step that must be taken is the elimination of the use of punishment as a means of maintaining discipline. Then, the ideals below can be used as temporary measures to maintain discipline while long-range programs are put into effect.
- Quiet places (corners, small rooms, retreats).
- Student/teacher agreement on immediate alternatives.
- Teaming of teachers/other adults, administrators, aides, volunteers (parents and others) to take students aside when they are disruptive and listen to them, talk with them, or engage in an alternative activity such as going for a short walk, until periods of instability subside.
- Similar services for educators whose stamina is exhausted.
- Social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists to work on a one-to-one basis with disruptive students or distraught teachers.
- Provision of alternative experiences for students who are bored, turned off or otherwise unreceptive to particular educational experiences:
- a) Independent projects
- b) Listening and viewing experiences with technological learning devices, such as computer, tapes, etc.
- c) Library research
- d) Work-study experience
- In-service programs to help teachers and other school staff learn a variety of techniques for building better interpersonal relations among students and between themselves and their students:
- a) Class meetings (Glasser technique)
- b) Role playing
- c) Case study – what would you do?
- d) Student-teacher human relations retreats and outings
- e) Teacher (or other staff)-student-parent conferences
- Class discussion of natural consequences of good and bad behavior (not threats or promises), of what behavior is right, of what behavior achieves desired results, what causes a “bad day” for the class.
- Bestow or withdraw privileges or provide a token system.
- Staff members to work with a class whose teacher needs a break.
Intermediate Range Solutions
- Staff-student-parent-developed discipline policy and procedures. Be sure these are appropriate.
- Parent education programs in interpersonal relations.
- Staff in-service program on interpersonal relations or understanding emotions, and on dealing with children when they are disruptive.
- Student human relations councils and grievance procedures.
- Training for students and teachers in crisis intervention.
- Training for students in self-advocacy.
- Training for teachers in dealing with fear of physical violence.
- Regular opportunities for principals to experience classroom situations.
Long-Range Solutions in School
- Full involvement of students in the decision making process in the school.
- Curriculum content revision and expansion by students and staff to motivate student interest.
- Teacher in-service programs on new teaching strategies to maintain student interest.
- Alternate programs for students.
- Work-study programs.
- Alternative schools within the public school system.
- Fewer students per staff member so staff can really get to know students.
- Adequate professional specialists; i.e., psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers.
- Aides and technicians to carry out paraprofessional, clerical and technical duties so that professional staff persons are free to work directly with student more of the time.
- A wide variety of learning materials and technological devices, such as computers, tape decks, augmentative communication devices, etc.
Long-Range Solutions With Other Agencies
- Staffing help from local and regional mental health and human relations agencies.
- More consultant staff to work with individual problem students.
- Long range intensive in-service programs preparing all staff to become counselors.
- Some educational experiences relocated in business, industry and social agencies.
- Increase human relations training in pre-service teacher education and specific preparation in constructive disciplinary procedures.
SAMPLE LETTER REGARDING SUSPENSION OF STUDENT WITH DISABILITIES
City, State, Zip
Special Education Director
City, State, Zip
Dear (Name of Special Education Director):
I/We have been notified that my/our son/daughter, (Full Name), birth date, (month, date, year), has been suspended for (number) of days from (school district – school name).
My/Our child has an Individual Education Program. I/We are requesting a meeting with the persons who are knowledgeable about my child and his/her disability. I/We would like this meeting to be held immediately to determine if the reason for the suspension is related to his/her disability and to determine if the current program, placement, and/or services are appropriate. I/We also understand that the number of days he/she can be suspended is not to exceed ten (10) school days, without notice of change of placement and all due process procedures followed. The school district remains responsible for providing appropriate educational and related services during the period of the suspension in excess of 10 school days.
I/We would like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss this. Please call at (telephone number) to arrange the meeting.
cc: School District Superintendent
Send by certified mail or hand carry to the district office and get a receipt.
(Remember to keep a copy for your file and indicate the other persons to whom you are sending copies by “cc” at the bottom of the letter.)
SAMPLE DUE PROCESS REQUEST
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of Legal Services, Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504
Your Name RE: Child’s Name
City, State, Zip Code City, State, Zip Code
Dear Dr. Bergeson:
I/We are writing to request a Due Process hearing in compliance with the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), on behalf of our/my son/daughter. He/She attends (Name of School)inthe (Name of School District). We are requesting a Due Process hearing to resolve the following problem:
List the problem you feel is occurring for your son or daughter. Provide as much information and any facts you have about it.
At this time we feel it is important that the District list any possible solutions that would help resolve the problem from your perspective.
I/We are requesting mediation as a part of this request. I/We understand that it will not deny or extend the timelines for Due Process, and may possibly resolve the situation. I/We are requesting information on any free or low cost legal assistance available to provide us with assistance through this process.
I/We regret having to come to this position. I/We hope that through this process we will be able to resolve this problem and move forward in providing appropriate services for my/our child.
Your Printed (typed) name
Phone Number including area code
Cc: Director, Special Education services in your District
The PAVE Parent Training and Information Program may include information on State or Federal laws regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities. While this is provided to inform or make one aware of these rights, legal definitions, or laws/regulations, it is not providing legal representation or legal advice. The recipient understands that this is information is to educate them not to provide them with legal representation.