Need help with the suspension process - NYC - LONG

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by nvts, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Here's the deal. Both boys have Aspergers. Neither attends the local school. Our "formerly easy child" daughter is 5 going on 6 in first grade and is raising H-E- double hockey sticks. Tantrums, screaming, refusing to stop, not following directions, totally obnoxious.

    Neurologist feels that easy child is testing extremely bright (approx. 7.5 yrs old academically and intellectually) but extremely immature (approx. 4 yrs. old). He felt that these are learned behaviors and she's mimicing the older boys.

    Now, I (against the neurologists wishes) agreed to a 1 to 1 para for the Bean so that they wouldn't suspend her from school. I refused in the past because they wanted to declare her emotionally disturbed (however the school psychologist AND social worker said that they couldn't say she is emotionally disturbed because THEY feel it's a maturity thing!). My pediatrician agreed to fill out a 504 for ADHD due to her impulse control issues (the tantrums) and her refusal to follow directions. So here's what's happened so far:

    1. meltdowns, tantrums etc. Started on the 1st day, removed from class 3x the first week. School called on that Friday to have me take her home. They NEVER notified me that the prior occurances happened. When I picked her up, the principal informed me that this is the 3rd occurance and that the next time it would mean a principals suspension (stay in a room with only a teacher and no interaction with the other students). After that it would be a superindendents suspension and that would be 1 week in another school at the superintendents discression and that it could be in a really nasty part of the island.

    2. they would be able to work with me if I would be agree to a 1:1 para. Fine, I'll talk to husband and let her know. Went home, punished a very surprised 5 year old, called the school and let them know that I would agree to the para. "Get a letter from the Pediatrician for ADHD" and we can set up the para.

    3. got the letter from the pediatrician and dropped it off at school on the following Tues.

    4. meltdown on Wednesday - come get her. Now the Bean is totally confused. Punished to room. Next morning tells me that she had been told by the principal that if she stopped her tantrum, she could stay. But they called anyway. They claimed it was a "miscommunication" between the Dean of Students and the principal. (When I got there, bean was in class behaving).

    5. Phone call from school. Need a 504. Go to the school and get the form. Take it to the pediatrician. Able to pick up on Monday the 17th. Delivered to school on Tues. the 18th.

    6. In family therapy on the 19th at difficult child 1's school. Cell phones do not work in the building. Get a voice mail from the schools parent coordinator to call her. There's a second one after that. Call right away and leave a voice mail (I thought it was about the 504).

    7. Parent coodinator calls back at 2:50 to tell me that Bean is suspended. Get letter in backpack that we had a call and discussed the potential suspension and that we collectively agreed that this was the right step. There's also a bunch of stuff that says that the IDEA attached would provide info. about protections that could be within the Beans rights due to her being in the process of the adjustments for the para (not in those words - paraphrasing). By the way, Bean said that the principal had told her that she would be suspended, but if she stopped right now, she could have 1 more chance. Bean stopped, but since I didn't return their call as quickly as they wanted, she was being suspended anyway.

    8. Call the school, the only one avail is the Parent Coordinator and she never saw the letter. I asked if this is usually part of her job and she said that she's never made these calls before, but since I didn't call them back, they decided on suspension. When I described the letter, she said she'd go get a copy out of Beans file and that she'd call back.

    Here are my questions:

    1. due process didn't seem to be followed re: the events leading up to the suspension? Am I right?

    2. Can a Parent Coordinator discuss whether suspension is appropriate?

    3. Should a Parent Coordinator have access to a students file?

    4. When she called back, she said that IDEA does not apply because Bean is in a General Ed environment...what about the 504?

    5. Is the suspension actually valid?

    Please understand, I have NO PROBLEM with her being put in a room devoid of access to other children to let her know that she's messing up BIG TIME. However, by making this a formal suspension, they're forcing the next step to be the superintendents suspension a certainty.

    Please help! I'm losing it!!!

    Thanks!
    Beth

    Sorry this is so long, I'll send coffee and cookies next time!!!
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Had your child been deemed eligible for a 504 Plan and the 504 written at the time the behavior occurred? If not, she has/had no protections regarding suspensions.

    A child with a 504 plan or IEP can be suspended for 10 cummulative school days in the year. At that point in time, further suspensions would likely be considered a "change in placement." Suspensions beyond the 10 cummulative school days should trigger a Manifestation Hearing.

    You'll have to check your school district policy regarding Parent Coordinators' access to educational records. Personally, I don't see how they could effectively do their job without access, but school district's have privacy issues to deal with so they often have some pretty tight procedures in place.

    If her access is limited by policy, you can write a letter to the school district allowing access. Be sure and send it Certified Mail.

    If your child does not have an IEP, IDEA does not apply. However, the 10-day suspension, change in placement notations, manifestation hearing is applicable to both.

    If your child has a 504 Plan, you immediately need to request a Behavior Intervention Plan be put into place.

    It's virtually unheard of for 504 student to get a para. Kudos to your school district for recognizing this related service.
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    by the way, send the letter requesting the BIP via Certified Mail also. Assuming that the 504 plan is now in effect, you may want to considered terminology to the effect:

    Our daughter is having behavioral problems in school resulting in being removed from the classroom and suspensions. It is requested that a Functional Behavioral Analysis be performed which will assist in designing an effective Behavior Intervention Plan. Send the letter to your District Section 504 Coordinator.

    In the event you are not aware, one major difference between 504s and IEPs is that by law parents are afforded more input and control with IDEA/IEPs than 504s.

     
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Actually if the school district has reason to know that a child has a disability and has been so notified by the parent in writing, many of the protections that would be in effect for a Special Education eligible child kick in immediately.

    It under a section of the law entitled, Protections for Children not yet Eligible---sorry I can't cite--the computer I am on is not set up that way, but I KNOW that section is there.

    There might be a problem with your not sending a certified letter but I doubt it: the school district is offering you a 1:1 aide so they can hardly deny knowledge of the possibility of a disability.

    by the way, even with Special Education protection, the child can be suspended for 10 days per school year commulatively.

    I think this would be very confusing for a 5 year old and the professional staff needs to get its act together and communicate effectively.

    Best to you,

    Martie
     
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Martie,

    Thank you sooooo much! I must have read that paragraph 100 times and KNEW I wasn't THAT stupid (asked the principal and she denied that it applied - keep in mind that she's the one that told me to fill out the 504 AND to go for the para). Your clarification really really helped my sanity!

    Sheila,

    Thank you for all of your help as well. It felt good to go into the post-suspension meeting (I was nervous as all get out and no one showed up except the principal so it was a total waste of time - I didn't get to ask any of the questions that I had, or to discuss the problem with any of the key players - and STILL haven't - AND my daughter was not allowed to stay in the room for the meeting). The whole thing was handled in the most unprofessional manner that I've ever seen.

    The good news is: she got the authorization for the para today, so God willing, she'll have a fighting chance!!!

    Beth
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I suspect that she's saying it's not applicable under Section 504, however, as indicated previously Section 504 has similar requirements regarding change in placement, manifestation hearings, etc. With 504's parents have little input, however.

    This is the citation Marti was speaking of from IDEA 2004:
    http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cregs%2C300%2CE%2C300%252E534%2C

    Regulations: Part 300 / E / 300.534

    Sec. 300.534 Protections for children not determined eligible for special education and related services.

    (a) General. A child who has not been determined to be eligible for special education and related services under this part and who has engaged in behavior that violated a code of student conduct, may assert any of the protections provided for in this part if the public agency had knowledge (as determined in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section) that the child was a child with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.

    (b) Basis of knowledge. A public agency must be deemed to have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability if before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred--

    (1) The parent of the child expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the appropriate educational agency, or a teacher of the child, that the child is in need of special education and related services;

    (2) The parent of the child requested an evaluation of the child pursuant to Sec. Sec. 300.300 through 300.311; or

    (3) The teacher of the child, or other personnel of the LEA, expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the child directly to the director of special education of the agency or to other supervisory personnel of the agency.

    (c) Exception. A public agency would not be deemed to have knowledge under paragraph (b) of this section if--

    (1) The parent of the child--

    (i) Has not allowed an evaluation of the child pursuant to Sec. Sec. 300.300 through 300.311; or

    (ii) Has refused services under this part; or

    (2) The child has been evaluated in accordance with Sec. Sec. 300.300 through 300.311 and determined to not be a child with a disability under this part.

    (d) Conditions that apply if no basis of knowledge.

    (1) If a public agency does not have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability (in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section) prior to taking disciplinary measures against the child, the child may be subjected to the disciplinary measures applied to children without disabilities who engage in comparable behaviors consistent with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (2)

    (i) If a request is made for an evaluation of a child during the time period in which the child is subjected to disciplinary measures under Sec. 300.530, the evaluation must be conducted in an expedited manner.

    (ii) Until the evaluation is completed, the child remains in the educational placement determined by school authorities, which can include suspension or expulsion without educational services.

    (iii) If the child is determined to be a child with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation conducted by the agency and information provided by the parents, the agency must provide special education and related services in accordance with this part, including the requirements of Sec. Sec. 300.530 through 300.536 and section 612(a)(1)(A) of the Act.

    (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1415(k)(5))


    Glad to hear the para came through.
     
  7. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Thanks for the citation Sheila.

    Martie
     
Loading...