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Deborah:  We have an ED student with a “shadow” who is allowed to refuse to go to class and refuse to do work. He sits in the courtyard, on discipline benches, or wanders the halls daily with his “shadow” nearby prodding him to go to class. His parent tells him he has to go to school, but he doesn’t need to do work. The Behavior Health Counselors and Behavior Interventionist talk with him and walk with him, but cannot get him to attend class nor do work. Other students pick up on this and attempt to mimic this behavior. What are the legal implications of this for the school, teachers, parent, and student? He is intelligent but no work. Suggestions?

  1. Deborah, Students labeled “Emotionally Disturbed” are a diverse group that often includes kids with specific learning disabilities who were not taught basic academic skills, kids with ADD/ADHD, kids who are anxious and depressed, kids with behavior problems, etc.

    Any educational plan needs to include his present levels of academic achievement and functional performance and needs to be designed to meet his unique needs not the needs of a hypothetical person. No one should attempt to create an educational plan for him until they review his background history, educational records, data from evaluations, observe him in various school settings, and talk with him face-to-face.

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