A child who misbehaves in a Florida classroom or on school grounds may be subject to discipline. However, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may offer protections to those who have emotional, physical or other disabilities that may cause them to do so. In some cases, students may be protected by this legislation even if they don’t have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or participate in a 504 program.
Understanding the IEP
An IEP or 504 plan provides a series of modifications to students who need them to obtain an adequate education. For instance, a child may be entitled to take tests at an alternate location or receive instruction at home or some other location. These types of programs may also provide children with resources needed to cope with mental or other issues that may result in outbursts or other issues at school.
What parents should know
A school may need to abide by IDEA guidelines if it knows about a child’s disability. This may occur if a parent has provided written notice that a child may have special needs. The same may be true if a teacher or other staff member has brought up the possibility that a child may have special needs. Finally, if an evaluation has been requested, a student may be protected by federal education law whether it takes place before or after a child gets into trouble.
When protections aren’t extended
A child is generally not protected by IDEA simply because he or she receives extra help at school. Furthermore, a child may not be protected if a previous evaluation has determined that there is no need for extra services.
If you believe that your child has been improperly disciplined, it may be possible to take legal action against the parties involved in issuing it. However, prior to taking a case to court, it may be a good idea to engage in private talks or mediation. Doing so may lead to an amicable outcome without causing undue stress on your son or daughter.