Behavior plan in high school


New Member
difficult child had a behavior plan in middle school, and last year we had added strategies to deal with his issues in school. At the transition meeting (at the end of the school year)the new IEP did not have ANY of the new supports which we had added. I was told that in high school kids are expected to "grow up" and become more responsible, and they did not do those things in high school. These were things like what to do in situations when he was unable to work, or acting out in the classroom.

Now he is in highschool and his behaviors are the same as always. He is sometimes not feeling up to working and tells the teacher he can't (this causes a major problem for them). Other times he is acting out when bored and drawing on desks/throwing paper around.

Now that they took the supports out for these things, everyone at school is alarmed and not knowing what to do. They called us for a meeting to be next Monday morning.

I am wondering if I can request that these behaviors be addressed in the behavior plan again, or what I am up against since they told me they refused to address these behaviors any longer at the transition meeting.

The second thing I am dealing with is that difficult child has a sleep problem and will be doing a sleep study soon. He sometimes falls asleep and is unable to stay awake or wake up. One night he could not read because he was exhausted and sleeping. The English teacher was going to make him do detention because he did not do the reading, rather to let him make it up the next day. She feels that he has to do the detention each and every time he misses something, even if it is due to the medical/psychological issues he is facing. He has been acting out because he does not think this is fair, and actually neither to I. I don't feel she is gaining anything by forcing this on him and it is in fact making things worse. How can we address this issue? Could it be added to the IEP, or is it that in high school there is no choice.

It seems that high school becomes a very IEP unfriendly place. Is it supposed to be like this?


"We don't do" is a non-compliance issue with your school district.

Age/grade level too often doesn't have a lot to do with our kids' ability to function "age-appropriately." That's why there are IEPs.

Whether in pre-k or 12th grade, 3 or 21 yrs old, the needs of the student should be addressed in the IEP.

I am wondering if I can request that these behaviors be addressed in the behavior plan again,

Absolutely. The sleep problem too. Fill out your recommendations/proposals on before you go to the meeting. will explain.


New Member
I have no ideas to help, but wanted to let you know, been there done that, too, and I also think it is unfair.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
My school does use behavior contracts for high school students with IEP's. I can't say that I have seen it be all that effective, however.

I am curious about your son's middle school behavior contract. What were the consequences for things like throwing paper around the room when bored? It seems to me like that would be very disruptive to the learning environment for the other students in the class.

About the sleep issue, is there any other time during the school day that your difficult child could make up the assignment rather than a detention? Like a study hall or a study skills class? That seems like a perfect compromise and your son won't fall behind due to circumstances beyond his control.

In my experience, once a student begins to fall behind, it snowballs from there.

I hope you get the situation resolved quickly. by the way, there is a list of possible accommodations on our high school IEP one of which is a behavior contract (plan).



New Member
sorta seems like the school was "asking for it" if he had supports in place to address those things and then pulled thse same supports. Maybe they could simply add them back in...were they effective last year? (or were they done for transition to next year and not given a chance to be tried?)
I can say we had some behavior contract in place for my dtr in HS.....BUT the implementation was.....another story and issue..but we HAD one. ANd it might have been highly successful--- if given a chance.
Remember the "I" in IEP is for "individual" - to provide for the childs needs....whatver they are.
It is nice to want the kids to "grow up" and become more responsible, but the act of entering HS does not make that magically happen...
It sounds as if he might know when he is .....having a hard time? Maybe there could be an alternate place for him to be in the building during those times? (so that he does not disrupt the other students) I do not mean a punitive type alternative place, but....some other place he can go and work on schoolwork. Or, actually my dtr did also have an accomodation when bored, restless or anxious, she could take a power walk with a school staff person for 10 mins.


New Member
I am not sure if I can explain what I have been thinking in a way that will sound...right......(I will do my best)

As one of my dtrs goals on her HS IEP it said she would learn to identify her feelings and needs- or something very close to that. The school kept trying to say she had not even come close to meeting this goal, but much closer to the reality is SHE had learned to identify her feelings and needs. Part of the problem was often the school staff did not honor or respect her feelings or needs.....
My dtr had spent years in group therapy and 1-1 therapy being taught when she is within a group where things get hot and ugly, she should NOT explode with the group or get confrontational, but instead.she should back off, remove herself from the possibly explosive situation. (learn she can control HER responses)
She also spent years learning she does not have to yell or shout or have an outburst.... she should take a deep breath, take a step back and regroup- count to 10, whatever, BEFORE responding etc.
She also spent years learning NOT to touch another person or violate their "personal space"

She was in an ED BD self contained classroom. It was quite a....distracting.....chaotic? environment. SHe was the only girl. Very often the class could get "rowdy" This would upset her. She would say to the aide or teacher that it was causing her panic and she would ask to leave the room. YAY! She WAS identifying her feelings and her needs. Sadly- far too often the staff would.....touch her on the head or shoulder or take her arm.....dismiss her feelings, try to nudge her physically right back into the fray.
They denied her the ability to escape out of a situation that she knew could escalate her....they dismissed her assessment of her feelings and her needs, and they violated her personal space and touched her. They ignored the fact that while she had a mental illness and she did have some immaturity, and she was in fact in an ED BD classroom- she still did KNOW her limits, and she knew what she needed. (plus she HAD a pass to leave the room at any time....on a well laid out path from class to a certain office, supposedly without having to do more than simply show her pass..... she had the pass for these exact reasons.....)
Instead far too many staff would try to force her to explain her feelings of the moment, or over ride what my dtr and the IE team had mapped out.
I am trying to say, sometimes the difficult children DO know what they need at a given moment. Sometimes people try to label this immaturity, when it might be quite the opposite. As adults we have some freedom to pick and choose our work environments to some degree and we choose them according to our needs. If we know we are active, we do not get a sedentary job. If we are social we do not choose a solitary job. When a difficult child can state their need and desire to take actions to avoid themself exploding or engaging in even less desireable behavoir, maybe we should listen. If a difficult child due to illness disorder or medication issues knows they cannot handle the work today or the environment at the moment.......why do we argue with that? It disrupts the classroom more, it sets things up for escalation, it takes too much time and effort and the results are not usually all so great. Maybe they could go to another room, or an office, and do a different assignment, or take a power walk or do some sit ups or something, and maybe then they can come back more able to meet the demands of the classroom?
Maybe some consider that not growing up, but if they can identify their need, I myself do find some level of maturity in that.
Sometimes if we ask the difficult children they can tell us the answers. And contrary to what you might think, it can work for some kids.
Such a hard time of life to be in HS or be a teen. We expect them to act like adults, but we treat them like little kids and we do not always listen when they might have the answer.
(I hope I explained that right)

Please do not tell me that adults cannot go take a walk....I KNOW in MANY types of jobs yes adults CAN go take a short walk without having to stop, ask permission and be questioned. I realize in some types of job when yoou are responsible for people or cash registers or working on an aseembly line, it might not be possible, but......there are LOTS of jobs where it IS possible.
My dtr had very heavy monthly flow and her teachers would refuse to permit her to go take care of it. at times she would need to change twice in an hour, - being in the self contained room, they did not leave the room for the different classes, they did not have hall time....and quite often her teachers DID refuse to let her go tend to her "issue" As a working adult, most employers would not subject a person to a lengthy explanation about needing to go to the restroom. A person simply gets up and goes. But is HS you usually have to ask permission, and sometimes in HS the kids ARE told "handle that during passing periods"
we ignore the kids assuming they want to mess around.


New Member
Last year he could request to go see the Easy Child teachers when he was having difficulty, and he did do that often. When he was disruptive they often sent him to the assistant principal or guidance councelor, and he either did homework or helped them with chores. Sometimes it helps him just to get out of the class room and into a quiet space.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
oceans ~ That sounds like a good plan. The only thing the school could object to is if he didn't make it to the office or got hurt along the way. There could by liability issues for the school district.

They might insist on someone coming to the classroom to escort him to the office or safe room. Would you have a problem with that?

I would certainly bring that up as an option at the meeting.