What You Need to Know
You only want the best for your child. If your child has special needs, you know they have the right to a free and appropriate education.
You and your child also have rights when it comes to disciplinary matters at school.
Sometimes, these situations can become convoluted and even unfair. Yes, the schools have the right to discipline your child, but they also have special obligations and rules to follow in cases where a student has special education needs.
Unfortunately, we see some schools failing to follow the laws when a student is involved in a disciplinary matter.
If you’re worried your child is being treated unfairly by their school, take heart: you have options.
A special education attorney can help settle any issues and even protect your child’s rights in court if it comes to that. The school system will have their attorneys ready. You need one, too.
At the Cuddy Law Firm, our special education lawyers have years of experience standing up to the school systems and making sure children with special needs get the help—and protection—they deserve.
Get in touch today to get your case started.
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What You’re Entitled to if Your Child Is Facing a Disciplinary Infraction
The legalities of these situations can be confusing. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan, they may receive specific protections when it comes to discipline.
Here’s what you and your child are entitled to:
- Written Notice – The school must inform you, in writing, of the rules pertaining to your child beforehand and, if these rules are broken, send you notification in writing of any disciplinary action being taken. The notification must detail exactly your child’s alleged conduct was and how that conduct violated school rules.
- Right to a Defense – If the school believes your child has broken any of those rules, you have the right to defend your child against those allegations. Remember that the school has the burden of proving your child broke the rules. You have the right to have an impartial hearing officer decide whether the school met their burden.
Know Your Child’s Rights
A defense to an allegation can take many forms:
- False Accusation – You can simply prove that the charge against your child is untrue.
- Legal Right to Engage in Conduct – All students are protected by the Constitution and they maintain certain rights even when inside the school building. Students have the right to free speech, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and the right to defend themselves from harm. Sometimes, we see schools overreach in this regard.
- Failure to Follow IEP and 504 plans – When this happens, many times the students are ill-equipped to handle situations that lead to violations of the school’s disciplinary code. As a result, the student may face long and inappropriate punishments, such as suspensions. If the behavior that led to your child’s discipline is related to their disability, you have the right to various protections under the law, which can even result in overturning the suspension.
We know this can be overwhelming to process. Let us help.
We can answer any questions you have and evaluate your recourse in these matters.
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Let Us Ease Your Burden
You just want your child to get the education he or she deserves.
The disciplinary process can be confusing and exhausting. If you feel your child’s school is unfairly disciplining your child, you need to contact a special education attorney immediately.
At the Cuddy Law Firm, we know the rules and we know what you and your child’s rights are. We can help guide you through this tough time.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Call us today.