Special Needs Student Discipline

Disciplinary issues involving students with special needs are often given additional consideration compared to average students.

Alternative Settings

A student receiving special education services can be removed from his or her current placement to an alternative setting for certain drug-related issues, weapons-related issues, and serious bodily injury to another student or staff member. In certain circumstances, an alternative setting may also be appropriate for a student who is a danger to himself.

Alternative settings may include day programs offered within the student’s home district, those offered by other districts, and those offered by private schools. In addition, there is sometimes a need for a child with special needs to be placed in a residential program suitable to his or her needs. At Cahill & Associates we are knowledgeable about many alternative programs available to serve the needs of Illinois students.

Suspensions

Suspending a student is a disciplinary measure used to deal with serious conduct issues in schools. Students with special needs sometimes qualify for special consideration in regard to suspension.

  1. Student not receiving special education services – A student not receiving special education services who violates the school’s published code of conduct can be suspended for that conduct. However, under certain circumstances, that student may be protected by the special education laws and rules. For more information, feel free to contact our office.
  2. Student receiving special education services – A student who is receiving special education services and violates the school’s published code of conduct can be suspended for up to 10 consecutive school days. Under certain circumstances, a student can be suspended for more than 10 cumulative school days in a school year. If your child has been suspended for more than 10 days in a school year, and the school has not conducted a manifestation determination review, the school district may be violating your child’s rights.

Expulsions

Expulsion of a student is a very serious matter. If your child has violated the school’s published code of conduct, and you have been informed by the school that the school is contemplating expulsion; you should seek professional advice immediately. Be mindful that the school may request a meeting to discuss your child’s conduct quickly. This could be an expulsion hearing meeting. It is important that you are clear as to the purpose of that meeting so that you can be properly prepared. Once a student has been expelled, it is difficult to reverse that decision.

  • Student not receiving special education services – Students not receiving special education services can be expelled for up to two (2) school years for violations of the school’s published code of conduct. However, there are circumstances in which a student not currently receiving special education services is protected under the special education laws and rules.
  • Student receiving special education services – There are very strict rules regarding expulsion of students receiving special education services. If your child was receiving special education services, has been expelled, and is now not receiving educational services; your child’s rights may have been violated.