Discipline of Students with Disabilities
Dear Colleague Letter, US DOE/Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), 2022.
OSEP implores districts to examine their policies, practices, and procedures to address discipline disparities that result in students with disabilities being subjected to higher rates of aversive practices, suspensions, and expulsions. OSEP urges districts to advise educators and administrators to use strategies other than exclusionary discipline to provide FAPE.
Q & A on Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA’s Discipline Provisions, US DOE/Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), 2022.
Citing confusion about how to apply discipline to students with disabilities in compliance with the IDEA, OSERS answers 70 questions on discipline. OSERS explains that the misapplication of disciplinary protections, or the failure to apply them, may result in disparate exclusion of students of color.
Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting Children with Disabilities: A Guide for Stakeholders, OSERS, 2022.
Districts must reconsider their use of exclusionary discipline and aversive practices. Exclusionary discipline is not appropriate for nonviolent offenses like tardiness, absenteeism, or subjective offenses such as defiance or disrespect. Instead, OSERS urges districts to implement culturally and linguistically responsive measures to create a positive school environment.
Restraint and Seclusion
The US Department of Education released these publications that outline principles for educators, parents, and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and to avoid the use of restraint and seclusion.
Page revised 9/15/22