The administration of appropriate disciplinary procedures for students with disabilities provides significant challenges for school district administrators and staff members. The issues surrounding the suspension of students are frequently complex and multiple factors must be considered. In general, students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are subject to the same codes of conduct as students who don't have IEPs.
Discipline for students with IEPs may be different than for other students when:
- An IEP or Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) has provisions for responding to a student's behavior that are different than the code of conduct.
- A disciplinary action constitutes a change in placement.
There are three special circumstances that allow school personnel to remove a student with disabilities to an interim alternative educational setting for no more than 45 school days regardless of the outcome of a manifestation determination.
The three special circumstances are if the student:
- Carries/possesses a weapon to or on school premises, as well as to or at school functions.
- Possesses uses, sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance or illegal drugs on school premises or at a school function. Note: Alcohol and tobacco violations of a school's code of conduct are not "special circumstances."
- Inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises or at a school function.
It is important to note that disciplinary procedures are there to help protect all students and school personnel. Disciplinary procedures are not positive behavioral interventions and supports.