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girlsadreamer
girlsadreamer asks:
Q:

Is there a federal law stating that no school age child will be excluded from an educational class field trip because he/she has forgotten homework?

My son receives special education for learning disabilities, one of which is his memory and retention.  He was told by his homeroom teacher that she as well as the director of Special Education in the school and one of his special education instructors have decided that if he forgets his homework, even once he will be excluded from a field trip.  This trip is an educational one, where they will join up with professional war re-enacters and re-enact the Hubbardton Battle, on the site which it took place 200 years ago.  

Not once, have I received a call or note home stating that his homework has been an issue.  Not once was I included or even informed of this decision they made about the trip.  I found out from my 10 year old son.  

Their reasoning for this is to teach him responsibility.  Isn't it their job to teach him techniques to deal with his disabilities rather than punish him for them?  I agree that there should be some consequences if a child forgets their homework, but I strongly disagree that this "punishment fits the crime"!  There are 2 more field trips that are also based on this same idea, between now and the end of June.  I dont doubt that because of this memory issue he has, he will not be allowed to go on either of these!  I am heartbroken for him, as is he.  He is not "forgetting" his homework to be defiant or rebellious.  He is NEVER a "behavior" issue.  He is NOT violent, he does not curse/use bad language.  He is just a child that struggles daily!
In Topics: School and Academics
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hello,
 
I can understand how frustrating this is for you. It sounds like part of the difficulty you're having is with the communication between you and the school (because they didn't tell you about the homework situation).

There's not a federal law (or any state laws that I know of) that requires all students to be included in field trips - even educational ones. Field trips are a wonderful way for kids to learn, but I think in most schools they're considered a "privilege" rather than a "right" and many schools keep kids back from field trips for behavior issues.

That said, I think you should call the school/teachers to talk about your son's situation. Rather than worrying about whether or not their decision is legal (or even fair), I'd just focus on how to help your child succeed under these terms. Let's face it, it would be a wonderful accomplishment for him to bring his homework in every day so this field trip could be a great "carrot" for him.

You could say something like this to the teacher "My son and I are completely committed to his being able to go on this field trip. I understand that this means he needs to bring his homework in every day between now and then. Here's what I'm going to do to support his efforts (create a sticker chart at home, put a sign on the inside of the front door that he'll see before he leaves, put a note on his seat in the car so if he's getting in without his homework he'll be reminded, etc). What can you do on your end to help make sure he succeeds?" Hopefully they'll say that they'll make sure the assignments are clear to your son, that they'll email you the assignments, or some other steps to help make sure this works!

The bottom line, I think communicating with your school is the way to accomplish your ultimate goal which is for your son to be able to be part of this wonderful learning opportunity.

Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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Friendforyou
Friendforyou writes:
If your child is on an IEP, check it.  There should be a spot that states what general education activities your son will be involved in.  The IEP will over-rule the school.  If it is not in there, call an IEP and discuss it there.  Ask the case carrier to set up the IEP- if they don't, put it in writing (your request to meet) and the school has 30 calendar days to hold the meeting.  You may set up different criteria for your son's homework and the wording should be stated in the accommodations section as well as the team summary.  Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hello, Adding to the previous responses you received, here are some resources that may be helpful in following up on the suggestions they shared...

Educators and Parents' Relationships
http://www.education.com/topic/parent-teacher-relationship/

Learning Disabilities and Response to Intervention special edition
http://www.education.com/special-edition/learning-disabilities-rti/

I hope all goes well with your follow-up on this matter. Thanks for asking!
> 60 days ago

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Annikamom
Annikamom writes:
If there is an IEP, you need to speak up! do not let the school bully you or your child, and it's an educational trip!!!  Say somethig fight it, you will win!!!
> 60 days ago

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jlmiller27
jlmiller27 writes:
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Sec 504.
> 60 days ago

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