chargerfan21 asks:

Do I have the right to challenge my son's suspension?

I have a son in the 3rd grade who attends special day class in a school distric-SH CLASS and he is diagnosed as intellectual disabled and has severe ADHD and behavioral problems and is on 2 medications for his epilepsy and due to his disabilities he has delay of communication skills. My son has been to 6-7 schools thru out his life because the distric still till this day cant find the right placement for him. My son has an IEP with a behavior plan that obviously aint working and the teacher as well as the teacher aids have no clue how to work with my son.
My son has been sent home 4-5 times this school year because of his behavior. I have contacted the school distric and explained to them my concerns and they suggested that they will speak with the principal and sent a program specialist down to the school to help the teacher deal with my sons disability.
My son was suspended from school for 2 days!
According to the discipline referral form it states that my son was having a hard time on the bus and once they went in the cafeteria for breakfast my son was told that he could not eat breakfast with the rest of his classmates because of his previous behavior on the bus , therefore that caused my son to have a tantrum which he then told the teacher few bad words and spit on his face.
Do I need a lwayer to fight this suspension?
any advise please?
In Topics: School and Academics, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago


Answers (1)

EdEd writes:
Sounds like you've been through a lot! I'm not an attorney that specializes in educational law, but my understanding is that a child with an IEP cannot be suspended for more than 10 years in a given school year without the district holding what is called a "manifestation determination" to determine whether the disciplinary issue in question is related to the child's disability. If it is found to be unrelated, the child can be disciplined the same as any child would be.

There are several nuances to this policy, including the right of the parent to challenge the finding.

The larger issue, to me, would be the overall difficulty the district is having serving the needs of your son. While a few days lost due to suspension is important, it's not nearly important as the other 175 days or so lost if no quality instruction/support is being provided.

If you feel that the district is not meeting the needs of your son, and that you aren't able to independently able to improve the quality of services, you may want to seek outside support, whether that be a parent advocate, outside therapist/evaluation, attorney, etc. It would likely depend on which services weren't being provided and why.

If you feel that, overall, your son's needs are being met, but you are specifically concerned with the recent suspensions, I'd consider 2 things: 1) how important is it to you to fight it, and is it worth straining relationships with folks at the school by becoming adversarial, and 2) would you be fighting it on "principle" because you feel like the school is in the wrong, or because there is actual and substantial loss of quality instruction/services for your child (or both).

If, overall, things are going well, I'd be hesitant to damage relationships and risk the school being less supportive on more important matters. If things aren't going well, I'd probably focus on the bigger-picture issues going on, rather than this particular issue. It's likely that if the bigger issues are addressed, the suspensions would become much less of an issue, if an issue at all.
> 60 days ago

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