School discipline rights for kids with IEPs and 504 plans

Public schools can discipline any student who breaks school rules. But students with IEPs and 504 plans have extra protections when it comes to discipline. Read this guide and watch the video below to learn more.

All students have to follow school rules. That includes students with IEPs and 504 plans. And when students break rules, schools have the authority to discipline them. 

There are different types of school discipline. But no matter which type the school uses, students have some basic rights:  

  • They have the right to know beforehand what the rules are.

  • They have the right to challenge accusations and prove innocence.

  • In some states, students who are suspended have the right to instruction at home.

Students with IEPs and 504 plans have extra protections under federal law. These rights aren’t an excuse for breaking rules. They simply help everyone understand the cause. They also require schools to try to reduce and prevent misbehavior.

The protections are complicated. They cover two main areas:

  1. When a child is removed from school, which prevents the child from receiving services. This is called a change in placement.

  2. When a child’s misbehavior is caused by a disability. That includes a learning disability or ADHD. This is called manifestation.

Knowing about school discipline is important. But the prime goal for parents and schools is to prevent misbehavior. Every public school has a code of conduct on its website or printed out. Go over it with your child so you both know the rules, and the consequences for breaking them.

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