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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 13, 2000

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Issue - 56

ISSN: 1538-3202


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1. New Letter to Wrightslaw : Can the School Expel My Son?

Ellen asks, "My son has ADHD and learning disabilities. He does not receive special education and does not have an IEP. The school has already suspended him several times this year. Now, they say they plan to expel him."

"I'm sure you're asking, 'What did he do wrong?' He didn't fight or sell drugs or anything like that. He went home after school with a friend in a car without getting permission first. Can the school expel him for this?"

Read our answer to Ellen


2. New Discipline Case From Illinois

"John had a strong dislike of school, which he documented in a journal he kept for English class in seventh grade. That journal contemplates the students revolting against the school, states that the school 'should have been torn down 3 years ago,' and that 'school is jail.'"

Despite John's dislike of school, his "teachers reported excellent effort and academic progress, and some were recommending honors classes for high school."

Three days after the Columbine massacre, the principal sent John home. A school team decided that he could not return to school "because of his propensity for violence and the danger posed to other students." John had never been violent. When his parents requested a hearing, the school arranged for the assistant superintendent of special services in another school district to act as hearing officer. This person was not an "authorized hearing officer under the IDEA."

After a real due process hearing before a real hearing officer, John 's parents prevailed. The school appealed. The judge issued a decision about procedural violations, prior written notice requirements, manifestation determination review, suspensions for more than 10 days, expedited hearings, special education and related services under IDEA, "passing grades" as evidence of FAPE, homebound instruction as a violation of LRE, and more.

Download this 22 page decision in Community Consolidated School District No. 93 v. John F.

In pdf

Decision in Word


3. FAQs About Discipline (OSEP)

When the "Education of the Handicapped Act" was passed in 1975, the educational needs of children with disabilities were not being met. One million children with disabilities were excluded from the public school system. School officials often used "discipline" to exclude children with disabilities from school.

If you are trying to make sense of discipline under the IDEA, these FAQs (published by the U. S. Dept. of Education)  may help.


4. Did You Know? Big Discounts on Books in Advocacy Challenge Program

Did you know that Harbor House Law Press offers big discounts to advocacy groups and organizations?

Organizations that teach advocacy or provide advocacy training through conferences or meetings can order WRIGHTSLAW: SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW in units of 20 books at half price.  For more information about the Advocacy Challenge.


5. Editor's Choice: May It Please the Court; What Do I Do When?

"May it Please the Court" audiotapes offer a unique view of the Supreme Court in action, and an opportunity to hear some explosive constitutional debates.

COURTS, KIDS & THE CONSTITUTION: MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT

Hear oral arguments about the constitutional rights of students and teachers in "Courts, Kids and the Constitution." Includes oral arguments in 16 school rights cases. Issues include prayer, newspaper and library censorship, political protest, drug testing, illegal aliens, and corporal punishment.

In "The First Amendment: May It Please the Court," listen to oral arguments in 16 First Amendment cases.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN? THE ANSWER BOOKS

"What Do I Do When: The Answer Book on Special Education Law" by Susan
Gorn provides answers to hundreds of questions about legal rights & responsibilities, from eligibility, evaluations, IEPs, procedural safeguards, discipline, more. Excellent resource for parents, educators, advocates and attorneys who want to learn more about special education law.

"What Do I Do When: The Answer Book on Discipline" by Susan Gorn. Using a Q & A style, Susan Gorn answers hundreds of questions about discipline in clear, understandable language.

For more information about these and other good books, visit the Legal Section of The Advocate's Bookstore.

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

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