Thursday, July 9, 2009

New OSEP Guidance: Discipline for SpEd Students

This kind of got lost in the buzz over the new Supreme Court decision, but the federal Office of Special Education Programs recently published new guidance concerning discipline of students with disabilities. Discipline has always been an important area and it was one of the key reasons that the federal special ed law was created in the first place. Expulsion and long term suspensions were among the mechanisms used to prevent children with disabilities from attending public school. As a result, the predecessor of IDEA contained specific protections against disciplinary changes of placement for special ed students.

Unfortunately, the field of discipline gives many teachers, parents, administrators, principals, and regulators stomach aches. The discipline rules have become fairly complex. When understood in context, however, they are not so hard to apply.

The new OSEP guidance includes OSEP's take on whether disciplinary rules apply when the parent revokes consent for services tat had been being received; that home instruction cannot be the sole IAES option; and clarification regarding the behavior requirements. You can review the new policy guidance here.


  1. Hi Jim,
    I am an 8th grade Intervention Specialist and in my first year of teaching (2yrs) ago, I had 5 of my students on IEP's suspended for possessing and consuming a prescription drug at school. Needless to say, it was a fiasco with the all of the meetings I had to schedule, the FBA's and the BIP's, and the Manifestation Determinations; while the students were all at home doing who knows what. I can't begin to tell you how many questions I had to ask my special ed director, administrators, school psychologists, colleagues, etc. It was a crazy experience, but I've had other experienced teachers come to me with their discipline questions because they know what I went through. I made a hard copy of the Q & A on Discipline Procedures to keep at hand as a resource. Thanks!
    Sandy Christian

  2. Sandy,

    Thanks for your kind words. Please spread the word.

    Our subscriber numbers are growing, and that helps our credibility. So do appreciative an supportive comments like yours.

    I really appreciate the readers of this blog.


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