Teen ADHD no 504 Suspened entire year! HELP!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by 2ndChances, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. 2ndChances

    2ndChances New Member

    Can I use the 504 protection for my daughter?? this one?
    IDEA 2004:

    Regulations: Part 300 / E / 300.534

    It seems to say that if I notified them in writing before the incident then maybe she is .. but it also says that I can request a 504 hearing if I notifed them before her punishment and I did before the atual suspension!!

    My story!!! abreviated...

    My 16 year old 11th grade daughter let 2 boys drive her car that she did not know on a Friday night. She smelled the marijuana when they got back and was horrified. Monday at school the drug dogs barked at her car. She was ticketed for marijuana possession. She tried to tell the school and the officers about the boys. She had friends who testified to what had happened. And she immediately drove herself to a test center for a drug screen to prove her innocence.

    She is an A/B student with 2 tardies all year. She is one of the star soccer players and her teachers and principle love her, she does NOT do drugs. She has severe ADHD and when her medication wears off she would make just this kind of thoughtless decision.

    She got immediate 10 day suspension, with zeros in every class and no opportunity to make up work, also a recommended 365 day suspension!! I wrote the school, the superintendent, the state board of education. I informed them of her ADHD and to please listen to her story. I was told to take my case before the school board. I did, they expelled her even though i am sure that they believed her story. Zero-Tolerance!! No matter that they just took away her chance at a scholarship in soccer. They cited precedence and said they were sorry but that they must treat all offenses the same.

    Can I use the 504 protection for her??? She has already missed 12 days of school and her soccer season started this week!!! Games start in 3 weeks!! Can I do anything! She is devasted and we do not know what to to. She is getting NO education!
    Help Please
    Rhonda - Mississippi
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    So much for "zero tolerance." Too many innocent students get caught up in it.

    Have you ever requested this school district to evaluate your child to see if she is eligible for a 504 Plan or IEP? Does your daughter have either a 504 Plan or IEP?
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I am very sorry for your situation. IF you have never requested an evaluation or notified your SD in writing (preferably by certified mail) that your daughter has a disability, then she can be expelled and there is not much you can do about it.

    This is why EVERY student who has a disability of any kind, should be under the protection of IDEA 2004 in my opinion. It does not matter whether or not you THINK your child would ever do anything to get expelled. This child did not do anything--but zero tolerance kicked in. Zero Tolerance does not apply to students with IEPs. The SD must still supply FAPE.

    Back to your situation: if your child is NOT on an IEP or you did not write the above letter, then I would suggest that you start looking for ways to make this year a productive one. There are on-line opportunities for your daughter to continue her education, although unless you can supervise closely, this is not an ideal situation for a child with ADHD.

    The other thing you can do is write a letter to the Director of Special Education and IF ANYONE AT THE SCHOOL KNEW YOUR DAUGHTER WAS ON MEDICATION, use this as the school's "notice" that she might be a child with a disability. This is a stretch, especially since you have already appealed unsuccessfully, but Federal law trumps all local regulations. Other ideas include contacting an attorney if you can afford one or legal aid if you cannot. We have many members who fall in between: attorneys are costly, but on the other hand, legal aide does not take clients who are at all solvent plus it is difficult to find a legal aide attorney who knows school law well--most do housing and domestic violence a whole lot better.

    Your situation makes me very angry and I am just sick for you. Your options are limited but the best hope is to "prove" that the school knew or should have known that your daughter has a disability.

  4. 2ndChances

    2ndChances New Member

    Thanks so much for you repies! I have read the code very carefully and have some people trying to help me. It appears that if I can get the Priniciple from last year to write a letter stating the details of the meetings that we had about her disability (we had many) then that should be proof of prior knowledge, right?

    I think he will since he is no longer with the school sytem and he loved my daughter.

    I have found out that our districts is the only one who would have been this hard on her.

    Oh and yes she did have teachers who knew she was on medication (how do I use that? they knew this year) and I have brought it to the office on a couple of occasions to give to her.

    I have filed complaints with the civil rights for section 104.32 and 104.33 offenses against 504 against the school. I was not notified of anything about the 504 scetion plan that was in place in aid students even though I had talked to the school about it. And it is not listed anywhere in our handbooks.

    I am also entering a "bill of exceptions" today to get her a ciruit court trial to appeal the school boards decision. I will then appeal to the state supreme court if I need to. It is just timely.
  5. 2ndChances

    2ndChances New Member

    OH quick,

    is there anything I should know before I go to the head of the 504 plan and ask for an emergency evaluation?

    I know it has to be in writing and i need to go ahead an give permission at the same time to keep from writing 2 letters.

    Any other words of wisdom to rush things? I have not figurued out about mediation or matriculation or whatever that was that looked like they could bog me down in (cant remember the exact word).. oh found it "Manifestation Review" i am still reading about this.

    I am also going to the center for Justice today to try to get an attorney and I have written to a great attorney. No dice yet.
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's hopeful that you may be able to prove the prior notice to the school about the medications and ADHD.

    The citation you posted is from IDEA 2004 and pertains to IEPs/special education.

    Manifestation Hearing pertain to students with 504s and IEPs.

    I hope you can find a good education attorney.

    Please keep us updated.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Get an attorney. They can suspend only if no one stops them. There were no drugs, she didn't test positive. All they have is that a dog barked at the car and there was an odor. They can't even prove what caused the odor or when. No way that could stand up in a real court. If they want to suspend her for drugs, force them to produce either drugs or a positive drug test.

    Suspending a kid because a dog barked at the car isn't Zero Tolerance, it's beyond that. It's School Authorities Gone Wild. It's gotta stop.
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    The SD does not know what it is talking about...

    A Manifestation Determination hearing is used to determine if the behavior of a kid ALREADY IN SPECIAL EDUCATION is a result of his/her disability. To have such a hearing would be tantamount to them admitting that your daughter has a disability. I do not see this happening--at least not if they have a decent attorney working for them.

    I agree with Sara--this is a good court case because the "evidence" the SD has will not stand up. The trick is to get an attorney who knows school law, general attorneys are not much help.

  9. 2ndChances

    2ndChances New Member

    Thanks again all!!

    This has truly been a nightmare. I live in a rural town in MS and this has turned into a political suicide case! I have had 5 attorneys within in 2 cities and withing 2 to 3 days they each go from thinking the case is great and wanting to fight to dropping the case because they are just "Too Busy"!! The last attorney was very strange and seemed to be just trying to get information from me about how strong my case was. He then told me he would file an injuction to get my daughter back in school for $5,000.00!!! OMG.. he also told me that he has discussed this case with several attorneys and that the school district is going to fight me with everything they have!!! They are furious that I wrote my own appeal and filed it pro se (no attorney).

    My daughter has been out of school now for 23 days today! I must stop this fight for a few days and get her an education. She has missed the cutoff to play soccer and that was my biggest concern with getting her back to this school quickly.

    Now I am driving tomorrow to TN (2hours away) to try to register her in a school outside of MS. I have an incredible friend there who is an officer in the Navy who has offered the top story of his home to my daughter and I so that she can get into school. Looks like I will be traveling a lot between being with her and the home in MS. It will take a while to change our lives to completly move up there since I am a single mom.

    Does anyone know if I can still fight the district here for not addressing her ADHD while I live in another state? I may be able to get an affidavit from the principal from last year because he is no longer at the school!
  10. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I do not think you will win if you have moved out of state. It is also not a good use of your time and energy in my opinion.

    When you enroll your daughter in the new school, let her get started and then file a request to have her evaluated. This action will protect her from arbitrary discipline. DO NOT admit you moved for the purpose of getting her into school in a different state. You moved....PERIOD...it is not their business why. People move all the time.

    Also, it is important to tell your daughter not to talk about it at school. It is possible, but not likely, that the SD could demand records for enrollment. I'm not sure how to handle this because if you filed pro se in MS, then your former SD is going to reveal the expulsion to retaliate.

    However, eventually you are going to have to get a transcript for grades 9 and 10 because unlike grade schools, high schools count Carnegie units for graduation (or the equivalent.) If you have her report cards from those years, use them. If you can get transcripts, do it but do NOT tell the SD where you are moving. It is none of their business. In IL you have a right to the transcript but I know nothing about MS school law.

    Good luck. I think your decision is in your daughter's best interest.

  11. 2ndChances

    2ndChances New Member

    Thanks again!!

    Moving out of state was not a great idea after all. I talked with the local schools and even the public school in TN will only take her as a probationary student who has to go straight to Alternative School!

    Starting 6th week no education! I have tried to get her into online classes and she refuses to participate. Every attorney I can find wants a retainer of close to $10,000 to file an injunction to get her back in school and then follow through with the case.

    Can I file an injuction myself? I am trying to force the school to let her back in but they are not returning my calls now.

    Thanks for all of the support. I am trying to make them access her!
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I'm so sorry. Things like this just shouldn't happen.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Can I file an injuction myself? </div></div>

    I don't know. You might do a consult with-an attorney and see if this is possible.

    You might also contact an organization like "The Arc" and see if they will take your case on a reduced fee or pro bono basis.

    You can file a Complaint with the US Department of Education OSEP, OCR and your State Education Agency, however.
  13. LitlPixy

    LitlPixy New Member

    Okay, I'm confused. My difficult child has a 504 on her, but what is an IEP?

    You said you needed an emergency 504 meeting.....To get our 504, the school counselor made an appointment with all her teachers for the next day. We met. It was done.
  14. Nina

    Nina New Member


    Have you thought about assistance from a University Legal Aid Department? Some offer legal assistance for not only students but residents. There might be other requirements like low income but its worth a try.
  15. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi LitlPixy.

    An IEP is an Individual Education Plan.

    You might want to do some reading on the differences, particularly since the school district didn't do an evaluation on your child. Proper evaluations can not be done overnight, an evaluations via "informal means" are typically worthless in my opinion.

    There are some threads in this forum and the Special Education Archives that discuss some of the differences between 504s and IEPs.

    You might want to start a new thread and include the information in your child's 504 plan. Also include information on how s/he's doing behaviorally and academically.