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5.46 Discipline of Exceptional Education Students

5.46 Discipline of Exceptional Education Students

Chapter 5.00: Students

5.46

DISCIPLINE OF EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

POLICY

This section includes general guidelines for expulsion, suspension, and discipline of students with disabilities.

Disciplinary actions involving ESE students shall be handled in the following manner:

I. An ESE student who has continual discipline problems resulting in six (6) days of suspensions will have a functional behavior assessment conducted and an ESE Discipline Plan added to his/her Individual Educational Plan (IEP) through a meeting of a guidance counselor and an ESE teacher. The parent must be invited to attend this meeting. Such plan will address the student’s violations of specific rules, set up guidelines for compliance with the rules, and positive reward timeline with non-compliance contingencies. This plan will be in effect for a minimum of four (4) weeks prior to determination of a need for alternative placement, expulsion or suspension. In all cases, the functional behavior assessment and ESE Discipline Plan shall be completed within nine (9) days of the infraction.

II. Unless otherwise specified in the IEP, a student participating in a District exceptional education program may be suspended for infractions of the Code of Student Conduct in accordance with the procedures set forth in that Code. If within the year, the student has been suspended nine (9) days, a Manifestation Committee shall be convened. This committee will consist of a psychologist, a member of the District Exceptional Student Education staff, and the principal/designee. The parents are fully invited and encouraged to become involved in the Manifestation Committee process. The first attempt to invite the parent to this meeting should be at the time the parent is notified of the suspension. All verbal attempts will be accompanied by a written notification. A second attempt will be made to invite the parent to this important meeting to ensure parent participation whenever possible. The Committee shall review the student’s functional behavior assessment determination and discipline plan and make a manifestation determination.

III. The Manifestation Committee shall meet to consider the student’s record and, for the purpose of this determination only, assume the allegations in the charge to be correct and assume that the student is guilty of the charges. The Committee shall determine whether the student’s behavior bears a relationship to the student’s disability. A determination will be made whether the act resulting in the request for disciplinary action is a manifestation of the student’s disability or that the student’s behavior is in relation to the student’s disability. If the answer to these questions is no, the student may be recommended to the School Board for expulsion, and consideration may be given to alternative placement. Any change in placement shall not result in complete cessation of exceptional Student education and related services. Parents of students with disabilities shall be afforded all

procedural safeguards as required by law if they disagree with any proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or provision of a free and appropriate public education of their child. The parent has the right to a due process hearing in all cases where manifestation determinations are made and it is established that there was not a relationship between the disability and the behavior.

IV. An ESE student may be placed immediately in an Interim Alternative Placement for forty- five (45) calendar day placement if the student violates the district weapons, alcohol, and drug policy. An ESE student who has a first offense for possession or use of drugs or alcohol will enter the Alternative Education Program immediately after the completion of the Manifestation hearing.

If a determination is made that a student’s behavior is not a manifestation of his or her disability, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures applicable to non-disabled students, including long-term suspensions and expulsions except that appropriate services must be provided to this student. The members of the committee will discuss appropriate alternative placements.

The regulations do not prohibit a child with a disability from being subjected to a disciplinary suspension, including more than one (1) placement in a forty-five (45) calendar day interim alternative educational setting in any given year, if that is necessary in an individual case.

Provisions of the regulation concerning the amount of time a student with a disability can be removed from his or her regular placement for disciplinary reasons are only in effect if the removal constitutes a change of placement and the parent objects to the proposed action by school officials and requests a Due Process Hearing.

V. If the principal, after consulting with the Director of Exceptional Child Education, determines that genuine danger exists to the staff or other students in the District, which cannot otherwise be resolved by an alternative placement, the principal may request the Superintendent to recommend to the School Board Attorney that a temporary injunction be obtained. If the Superintendent concurs, the following steps shall be taken:

A. Within two (2) school days of the incident, the student shall be referred to the Manifestation Committee for an expeditious determination as to whether the alleged actions were a manifestation of the student’s existing, identified disability.

B. Within two (2) school days of the incident, a meeting shall be held among appropriate and available staff including specifically the Director of Exceptional Student Education, the Director of Student Services, and the Director of Elementary Programs to determine the District’s position with respect to temporary removal of the student.

C. Within two (2) school days, sworn statements should be taken from all witnesses to the incident and the necessary professionals in support of a complaint for injunctive relief.

D. Within three (3) school days, a complaint for injunctive relief should be filed with the appropriate court.

E. If the court issues a temporary injunction, the student will be fully excluded from school, school property, and all school events, pending expulsion (if allowable), change of placement, or amendment to the IEP and review of same by a due process hearing if one is requested by the student’s parents.

F. At such time as the Director of Exceptional Student Education advises that closure on the pending issues allowed by law has occurred, the temporary injunction should be dismissed. During the expulsion process, if the Staffing Committee determines that the IEP should be changed or the student is identified as having a different type of disability, the Director of Exceptional Student Education shall provide a narrative report to the Board as to why the condition, diagnosis, or IEP has changed.

VI. A student who has not been determined ESE eligible, who violates this policy or Code of Student Conduct, may assert protection under IDEA if the District has knowledge that the student had a disability before the behavior occurred. If the District did not have knowledge that the student had a disability, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as applied to non-disabled students, except that ESE and relate services may not be ceased.

The District will be considered to have knowledge of the disability if any of the following occurred.

A. The parent has expressed prior concerns in writing (unless the parent is illiterate) to personnel of the District or school that the student needs ESE and related services.

B. The student’s behavior or performance demonstrates the need for services.

C. The parent has requested an evaluation.

D. The teacher or other school personnel have expressed concerns about the behavior or performance of the student to the Director of Exceptional Student Education or other District or school staff.

E. When a referral for evaluation is made during the time the student is subjected to disciplinary measures, the evaluation shall be conducted in an expedited manner. If the student is ESE eligible, the District shall provide ESE and related services when appropriate.

VII. If the manifestation committee determines the disability caused the student’s inability to understand the consequences of his/her behavior or control his/her behavior, the team must stop the long-term exclusion process and develop an Individual Educational Plan that meets the individual needs of the student with appropriate services and placement.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 1001.41, 1001.42, F.S.

LAWS IMPLEMENTED: 1001.42, 1006.09, F.S.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULES: 6A-6.0331(6)

HISTORY: Adopted: 07/14/1998

Revision Date(s): 11/18/2003

Formerly: I-20

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