School removals

In July 2022, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance that included how to support children with disabilities whose behavior impedes their learning or that of others. In doing so, it addressed the short-term removals of students with disabilities by administrators and staff, and noted that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specifically requires IEP Teams to consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports instead.

Now, has published an update on how states and districts are taking steps to ensure that these removals do not violate civil and educational rights. (Read the whole article here.) These removals can occur in a variety of ways, but center on dismissing the student before their school day, or week, is completed, and “have raised alarms about the practice being overused as a way to sidestep IDEA discipline due process for students with disabilities.”

Those procedures, K12 adds, “include extra protections for students with disabilities who are disciplined, such as the right to receive special education services if they are removed from school for more than 10 days.”

In February 2023, The New York Times took a comprehensive look at these removals, which it says “largely escape scrutiny because schools are not required to report them in the same manner as formal suspensions and expulsions, making them difficult to track and their impact hard to measure.”

Plus: What You Can Do When It Happens

An attorney and parent advocate on how to use the IEP, functional behavioral assessment and the law when your child is removed from school.

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