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Jennifer:  Can a school/teacher exclude a child from a field trip because they are worried about a behavior issue? Although behaviorally my child has had very few issues throughout the year they seem to want to exclude her because they are worried about the “what ifs”?

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17 Comments on "Discrimination: EXCLUSION FROM FIELD TRIPS"

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Advocate Pat Howey describes an interesting way to “State Your Case” about transportation for a field trip. Take a look to see if this would work for you. http://www.wrightslaw.com/howey/field.trip.transport.htm

Thanks for the additional input. I do have another question, also of a legal type. If many disabled students were discriminated against in a school system (child find, reasonable accom., etc.) a few years ago, and now some issues have been corrected, could a class action suit be filed for past discrimination?

Can a public school require the statement “Parent to accompany child on field trips” in a 504 plan?

Not legally. 504 & the ADA deal with discrimination. Unless all parents are expected to accompany their child this is discrimination. Your state education agency may help you, but the federal Office of Civil Rights enforces 504 & the ADA. Your state parent training & information center can provide you with information & assistance. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Thanks for the reply!! I will check out the link you shared.

My son’s school is excluding him from activities just because other students say they are uncomfortable around him. He is socially awkward but is not mean or threatening in any way. He always apologizes when he does something that upsets anyone even though it is a manifestation of his autism.This has escalated to a bullying issue from the students and to some extent even one of the teachers. If I cannot get this to stop, do I have legal recourse or should I contact the state board of education?

Sonsy you do have recourse. Your son is allowed to attend the same activities as his peers. They are not even giving you a good reason other than they are uncomfortable around him. Studies have all shown that disabled peers can in fact flourish when they are with non disabled peers. The school should be working with him on his social skills. Does your son have an IEP? You may want to have that put in there. I would start writing letters first to the principal than the director of special education. If you get nowhere with those than go to the superintendent of your district. If nothing works I would either request a due process hearing to get to the bottom of this or file a state complaint. It is so sad that your son has to go through this.I hope this advice helps you and good luck.

Excluding him from such activities is a violation of IDEA. The school is also required to address bullying. I suggest a letter to the principal & special ed director pointing out that your child is not participating in these activities, & asking for a meetings with administrators, & the IEP team to develop supports so he can participate in these trips & to address his social awkwardness. Also formally report the bullying to the principal as it occurs.

No! If they are truly worried they should have extra staff on hand just in case of meltdown so they are prepared for it. But why take away the opportunity for a child to experience life lessons because they have a disability that may or may not even be the problem they say?

I agree with your opinion. What does the law say though? If a child has meltdowns regularly that are sometimes violent does that make a difference?

That certainly needs to be considered. I feel that these decisions should be made by the IEP team, not by one or 2 people.

Hello chuck my son is a senior and he is on a 504 plan my son was in a grade forgiveness class and just finished it just waiting on grades o be put in I ask the coach to please wait and give my son a chance he said no

Agreed. I just want to know what the law is concerning this. I know there are some laws in place protecting the best interest of the child. However, I am not finding clarity on this. Are there specific criteria for the IEP team to consider? Otherwise it seems to be a biased/feelings based decision.

IDEA says Each school “must take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids & services determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services & activities.” 300.107(a)

Does this hold true for students in Private Day Schools also? Can staff hold special needs students in a private day school from attending academic aligned field trips because of their behaviors?

The Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to these schools. The office of Civil Rights enforces the ADA so their website may have information on this issue.

Hi Alicia,

I am still learning the law but i even think Private schools cannot deny a disabled child the right to field trips. I believe they also have to provide supplementary aids and any other services needed.