I need alternative discipline options at school

Hi I'm new to this but I need some advice. I need alternate discipline options for school. My son is ADHD and ODD most likely he is Bi-Polar and is too young to diagnose he is 8 and is 2nd grade. The principal either wants ISS or swats he is saying there is not other options. I suggested making him walk the playground at recess instead of playing. But he says its considered physical punishment. But we did that in another school just 20 miles west of here, different district. and smaller. This town is pretty small only about 10,000 and the options are limited. ISS does not work his grades drop. They want to put him in ISS for pushing a child down which is considered a big 5 rule and the discipline has to be the same for all the children. I know better they have to accomidate to my childs needs. So can anyone please help me?! Thank-You


Psycho Gorilla Dad
Hi Christina. If you have an official diagnosis for any of the things you listed, you should be able to get help from your local school board office if the school isn't cooperating.

Is "discipline" what your son really needs? Or is he acting out because of the issues you listed, and needs more help at school? Where I live, I'd use the medical issues as justification for an "IEP", or Individual Education Plan (pretty sure that's what it means). It will list your child's issue (or or it may be called a disability), what extra resources the district will provide to help your child with his disability to be successful. More importantly, though, it should also specifially spell out how "success" is measured, and holds both the school and the parent responsible for following the plan.

I'm not a big believer in prolonged discipline/punishment for little kids, at least not for things that can be tied to an illness or disability. I can look back at all the times my younger son acted out because his ADD held him back in class, and the teachers told me he was a "bad kid" and he needed to be punished.


Start with your school board. The only thing to remember about an IEP, though, is that it might go on his permanent school record as a disability; that's what our school trotted out as a reason against an IEP. Unfortunately, we believed them and didn't get one. It wasn't until after my wife went to work for the district that we found out they do everything they can to avoid IEP's - they cost a lot, are difficult to manage, and really hold the school accountable in a detailed way. In short, they're a royal pain for the school.

But it's also usually what a kid with real issues needs, right?

Hope that helps. I'm sure others here have good suggestions as well. Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace - you're not alone here.



New Member
Hi: My guess is that discipline does NOT have to be the same for all kids. That is, if your kid is on an Individualized Education Plan that has behavioral supports it in, that plan will call for something quite different than what happens when a "regular" kid acts out in the classroom. (My son's IEP is pretty specific about the various behavioral interventions, including specifying what NOT to do when he acts out.)

Not sure what ISS is...
We have done the IEP but still the school says theres nothingelse they can do for him discipline wise because it has to fair to all the kids. Which is B.S. ISS is in school suspension where they sit in a small classroom all day and eat in there and don not play. and is just handed the work instead of it being tought to him. Yes he has been diagnosed with all the problems.


Christina, you may want to post on the Special Education 101 board. The moderators Martie and Sheila are very knowledgeable and should be able to point you in the right direction.

Your son deserves to be educated in the least restricted environment, and it doesn't sound as if your SD is necessarily doing that. You may need to find an advocate to help you negotiate Special Education procedures.

When you get a chance, it would be helpful to go to "My Stuff" above and create a signature similar to mine. It helps us keep everyone's story straight when responding to posts. If you have used your last name in your user name, you might want to change it to protect your privacy.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Hi and welcome-
I am not much help with school things... but who diagnosed him was it a Psychiatrist? Has he had an official nuero-psychiatric evaluation? Both of these are pretty important for a true accurate diagnosis. The other is he on any medications? Why is there a question of Bipolar? He can be diagnosis'd BiPolar (BP)-not otherwise specified or in the Bipolar spectrum or MMD-not otherwise specified if he is indeed bipolar... He can have a working diagnosis... is there a family history?

I would also take off your last name for privacy issues... and do a signature like at the bottom of most posts. So we don't keep asking you the same questions over and over...

Again welcome...


New Member
Does he have a behavior plan with the IEP? If not, you need to request that one be done. In the behavior plan a team, including yourself, should come up with guidelines to follow to help with behavior issues. A functional behavioral assessment specific to his problems should be drawn up. The school needs to consider what sets off the behaviors and what might prevent them from happening. Sometimes it helps to bring someone in to the meeting with you. Does he have a psychologist that might go in with you? We as parents, need to become our kids advocates. I would not let anyone hit my child.


Well-Known Member
Ok let me preface this by saying Im in a really bad mood today.

I am dying here. The school wants to use swats on your son for misbehavior but wont do walking the playground because THAT is physical punishment? Oh give me a break! Swats are corporal punishment...walking is walking.

My hair is on fire.

Yes it is worth the effort to fight the school if you will be there next year. It is even worth it anyway. Our school system hated me when my son was in it. Its a darn wonder I wasnt arrested a time or two.

I would be sending a certified letter asking for an immediate IEP meeting. They would be doing a FBA and putting in BIPs pronto and he doesnt have to have the same punishments except for certain situations such as weapons and drugs. I am assuming he isnt taking weapons to school or passing out crack at recess. His disabilities have to be taken into consideration.
Yes it is just his aggression. He gets angry really fast. Even if someone just touches him he dont like it. He has a real bad problem with authority. But no hes not doing anything real bad like drugs or weapons. No we dont have a physchiratrist. Theres only 1 here in town and we have already been there done that and got no help. We have done the IEP. I agree the punishment is unfair and really ridiculous excuses. No i dont plan on staying here want to get the heck out of here. Thank-yall for your comments and suggestions.


New Member
I am in the same boat as you. I pushed to have my son put on a 504...and now I am pushing for an IEP for two reasons...to get him some services AND to protect him.

Look into the Parental Procedural Safeguards (parent's rights) for your state. There is some protection in there. Also, if you have any doubts or questions, contact your State Department of Education. They will explain the laws to you, your rights, and will investigate any wrong-doing. They will also appoint a free or low-cost advocate, if needed.


New Member
Just curious....did they ever try Concerta AND Straterra? My son's psychiatrist had us try one at a time. I noticed that the Concerta helped with his hyperactivity whereas the Straterra helped with his anger. Only after reading about combining the two on another bulletin board did I mention trying both at the same time to the Psychiatrist. We tried both and noticed a big difference.

I only suggest that because my son was very oppositional prior to medications and now, post-medications, things are much better.


New Member
I don't have much to add, but second much of what others have said. We had some of the same issues, until we figured out what was causing the "acting out". I would request a meeting right away, and don't let them talk you out of it. I am learning that you have to go in and be really assertive to get what your child needs. Don't let them make you or your difficult child feel like you are the problem!!



Active Member
Call an IEP meeting right away. I request one every time my son is suspended (I'm in a small school and hear the same thing - they also say when I argue that he just needs a break from school and then he can come back fresh). Sometimes we end up having one, other times we end up talking over the phone and coming up with ideas to try before reconvening an IEP meeting.

Even if you don't plan on staying in the district, go the the IEP and ask for everything you think he needs, and more. If you move, the IEP will move with him and the new school is supposed to follow it until they make their own IEP. We did that this past year when we moved to a different state. And when we met for the new IEP, they based it on the old school's IEP. And the part in the IEP where it said more testing would be needed in the fall, they agreed with, followed up, and gave him sensory testing which led to more Occupational Therapist (OT). It wouldn't have happened nearly as fast if we had waited until we got to the new school.

Does your IEP include an FBA (functional behavioral assesment I think) and a BIP (behavior intervention plan)? If not, request the FBA before your next IEP meeting so you can do the BIP.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
I didn't realize any school still used corporal punishment. Even down here in the deep south (Georgia) it was phased out twenty years ago.

Of course, I live in the metro Atlanta area. It might still be being used in rural areas.

Regardless, I think you have every right to tell the school that your child cannot be hit. I can't think of any problem that it would possibly solve.

An interesting side note ~ it was still being used when I taught at a Florida middle school in the late 70's. I was always amazed that when the assistant principal offered a choice of a swat or detention, some students chose the corporal punishment. I never did like it being used, though, and certainly would not have given permission for it to be used on my own children.



Well-Known Member
This is very upsetting!!!!He should never, ever be punished like this. At school he should be earning "rewards", he should be "working for things" ie. computer time, a book he likes, something he wants to play with, he should choose. (our kids have choice boards-they select something from it they want to work for from all things they like) Then during each activity he earns little tokens, when he earns 4 (or you select the amount) he will then get his reward. If he starts to get agitated or deviate from the task, show him he is "working for trains" or whatever. Space out the token-giving by how long the activity is, or when he does something hard for him. Sometimes a kid earns tokens for sitting in the chair and another when the activity is started. (you decide). If he does something wrong-like hits-then he earns"BREAK". The kid will then sit in a break chair for 2 minutes. Then on to the next activity. If he hits again he doesn't even earn break, he just goes right to the next activity. The point being, the kid needs to be succesful. If we have a kid who is upset, he will have the oppprtunity to take a walk to calm down. It's ok. This could be something your son might allowed to do-before things get out of control. The teacher could hopefullty see when things are about to go wrong and let him go for a walk heading off the problem. Not alone of course. No way should a kid ever be punished if he is in special-ed. If he is classified a behavior plan should be put in the IEP. HE NEEDS A BEHAVIOR PLAN. He needs to be succesful. And he should be be getting LOTS of praise during the day when he does a good job. -Alyssa


New Member
regardless of whether you are staying or not you need a behavior plan in place where ever you and that is what directs the type of discipline. by law you are to be part of making that decision and by law they are to treat each child indiviually when they have an IEP.

and by the way if he is suspended, in house or at home and is not getting FAPE then they can only do that for 10 days.

good luck and i say fight no matter what! send a letter today to the superintendant asking for an immediate behavior plan!


New Member
My son is in a special class at school called success. All the kids in his class suffer from some sort of learning dis. They will only take in 12 kids and that is so they can get more one on one work. He has been to ISS twice this year and was kicked out of it the 2nd time for not doing his work.Since then he has been diagnosed with odd and the teacher knows to be more patient with him and not to send him to ISS because that is not a good choice for him. But it is a small school also in the south so he does get a smack on the :censored2: from the principal but it is either that or come stay home with me for three days. They also have him walk the track at recess like your old school. Maybe you should check with your Dr. on what rights your child has in public school because they are supposed to work with your child. My sons DR. has been very helpful on explaining our rights to us...So check with them