Don't Get Pushed Out. Know Your Rights!
If you were physically removed for breaking school rules, kicked out of a regular classroom, told to go to the front office for the rest of the day, or the in-school-suspension (ISS) room, told to go home for the day, or told you cannot enter the building, you've been suspended or possibly expelled.
Immediately document the date your child was sent home -- write it down, screen shot the phone call you got from the school, write to the principal confirming your child was sent home.
Ask the principal for a meeting to explain what evidence they have to support the suspension or expulsion. Ask for the number of days you are being proposed for suspension or expulsion.
Ask for paperwork that shows what Code of Conduct offense you are accused of committing.
Save all paperwork!
If you have an IEP or 504 plan, add up the number of days you have been removed so far.
When a school system suspends a student with an IEP or a 504 plan for more than 10 consecutive school days or for more than 10 days total, the IEP or 504 team must meet within 10 school days from the date of the last removal for a “manifestation meeting.”
A manifestation meeting must take place before the conference with the superintendent’s or CEO's designee as described below. At the manifestation meeting, the IEP or 504 team will decide whether the conduct for which you are being proposed for an extended suspension or expulsion was a “manifestation” of your disability—in other words, whether the behavior was related to the student’s disability, OR if the behavior took place because of the team's failure to implement the IEP or 504 plan. If the team decides that the behavior was related to the disability, you get to return to school. You are part of your IEP or 504 team. Make sure your voice is heard at the meeting. If you do not think your IEP or 504 plan meets your needs or that the school has not been following the IEP or 504 plan, bring this up at the manifestation meeting.
However, if the incident involved guns, drugs or serious bodily injury, you still have to move forward to a superintendent or CEO's designee conference.
If you have previously asked to be evaluated for an IEP or 504 plan, but don't have one in place, you are still suspected of having a disability and the school should hold a manifestation meeting first.
Call MSRP as soon as possible to get connected with a special education advocate.