Discrimination: EXCLUSION FROM FIELD TRIPS

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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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cadin

can a school not let a kid go to field day because they had in school suspension because they got it on the same week as field day

ComputerChick

My son was excluded from a field trip that is suppose to be on May 22. They said he didn’t do the requirements the permission forms didn’t list any requirements just signatures to go he is high functioning Aspergers. The principal stated because he didn’t want to go his general studies class. And I know why he is getting bullied and picked on. Now he is out for his 5th grade field trip.

Chuck

Cadin, Computer Chick. IDEA rules say students with disabilities are to have an “equal opportunity for participation” in nonacademic & extracurricular activities. 300.317 They are to provide supplementary aids & services as needed so this can happen. Typically, schools forget to have IEP teams determine the aids & services needed, so the quick/easy way to deal with this at the last minute is to exclude the child. Parents can & should bring this issue up at IEP meetings, if they anticipate problems during the year. So you can request a meeting now to discuss this for next year.

Agree with Chuck re: the need for supplementary aids and services and why they are often neglected.
If you are having problems, as several people have described recently, please describe them in a letter to a school administrator. Just the facts – not how you felt (I know, that’s hard). A letter has far more power than an email. The weakest evidence is a conversation – and this is what parents tend to rely upon most. “The principal told me …”

Nakova

This is all too familiar for me. My daughter has been excluded from so many trips. Teacher would not send her permission form for me to sign. Would not even tell me about the trips. I found out about one because I went to meet with the teacher and was informed that the class was on a field trip and my daughter stayed behind at school. I told the principal that this was not right and that my daughter had every right to be on the trip. The principal replied that the other kids were more important and wanted to have fun without her. When I saw the teacher she said it was nice to not have to deal with my daughter on the trip. What can I do?

Chuck

You can write to the special ed director and say that you want to work with the campus so that your child’s right to participate is honored, & she has a minimal negative impact on the trip. If some arrangement cannot be reached, you can contact your state parent training and information center. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Michelle

My 10 year old son has Autism. He has no behavioral issues and can verbalize well with his peers. My son was excluded from 5th grade camp. I’m wondering if they can do this. At his last school he went on 3 field trips a year. This is his new school that he has been attending since the start of 5th grade in September and hasn’t gone on any field trips this year. I’m wondering if they can exclude him for no reason. Even if they needed a chaperone I could have offered to come with and supervise if needed. They never offered this and we only know the trip occured already because all his peers are talking about how much fun they had. On the school calander it says “5th grade camp” wondering if next year they should put (for “normal kids” only). My son is upset because we talked about this trip.

Chuck

Students with disabilities are to be included in extracurricular activities. I suggest you contact the principal and special ed director in writing to request a plan so this does not happen next year.

dylan

my teacher actually wont let me go to skyzone

Dale

Same but my teacher says. I’m ganna find a way to get u kicked off of our field trip

Nicole

I am going through the same my 5th grade has asperpers he has anxiety now of teachers telling him his Field Trips taken away.

Melissa

My 8th grade is attending a out of state field trip and utilizes partial homebound services. He is an 8th grader taking sophomore classes but does miss school due to chronic pain. He can go many weeks without utilizing services and then be home. I was phoned by the principal and told that because he utilizes homebound a medical release is required. I have a text where I was invited to attend due to lack of chaperones should he get a headache. I now question his safety and am attending the trip at my own expense and I don’t have the means.
I will be staying at a different hotel but will be in attendance. To demand this letter from her, nurse director and her secondary boss despite my attendance- is this discrimatory? I live in Texas.

Nicole

As a Teachers Assistant, can you take a 10 year old ADHD on a Grade 3, 3 night field trip and:
1. exclude the student from sharing a room with other students and make them share with a teacher
2. be excluded from after dinner (quiz night, talent show and game night) activities (6.30-8:30)
Justifying these actions with the excuse of it being too stimulating and may cause sleeping problems,

Marcus

No you may not exclude him at all. What should be done is he should be included as much as possible and given sensory breaks as needed. I see no reason he cannot be included in the activities. Child should also be able to share a room. If not then see if there is another alternative which as a quiet room by himself.

Lisa

I am researching the occurrence of students with disabilities being denied from going on field trips held during the regular school day. I am looking for peer reviewed articles but haven’t found any yet. Your help would be appreciated!

Sharon

My daughter has life threatening allergies. We have a 504 plan and in Kindergarten it read one parent will be allowed to attend field trip. This year, 1st grade they changed the language and added “only if other parent’s are invited”. My daughter is afraid she will have a reaction and we won’t be there. I would pay for my ticket but school will not allow either of us to attend. Is there anything we can do?

Benjamin

My son is 9 years old and attends school in El Paso, TX. he has an IEP that states he is “Emotionally Disturbed” he received while we lived in Oklahoma. After we moved to El Paso my son was placed in another school that had his services available. After a month of being in the Behavior Intervention Classroom the school moved my son to the mainstream classroom. There is a field trip upcoming next week and now the teacher in the mainstream classroom has written us that our son will not be allowed to go on field trip due to some outbursts that he had this week. Why all of a sudden when the field trip is coming up, now his behavior is an issue when in the previous three months there has been no issues and the teacher even had told us that our son was great in class. What are his rights?

Chuck

Since the teacher has told you of some recent outbursts, I suggest talking with the principal or assistant principal about the need for an ARD/IEP meeting to discuss these, & supports so he can attend the field trip. Also put the request in writing. I work for the TX parent training & information center. Our staff in El Paso is available to assist you. 915-259-8717

Wanda

I have a 12 year old daughter who along with other kids with bad grades who are being bullied are being excluded from the incentive day field trip bec of their grades. I feel that them being excluded bec of that, then other kids know about the bad grades making the bullying worse. I feel those trips should go by behavior, not grades. Is it discrimination? Should the be allowed? I found out that her grades are due to her being bullied & now it’s getting worse bec they found out about her bad grades. She has become quiet & withdrawn because of it.

Chuck

I suggest learning what state, federal, and local rules say about bullying & the district’s responsibility to deal with it, and work to show that bullying is happening with your child. Allowing bullying violates federal laws.

Cynthia

My daughter has a severe airborne peanut allergy. Her senior class is going on a trip across the country: 5 hour flight. In order for her to go safely, she must fly with Delta Airlines, which has an excellent peanut allergy protocol. The school is taking American Airlines, which is not allergy friendly at all (they have a policy, but it is not enforced).
The school says they cannot legally have a chaperone fly with our daughter on her flight, but that they will get her to the airport for her flight home and get her when she lands at their destination. She is 17 yrs old and has never flown alone before. What if something happens and she is a minor stuck at an airport and her class flies back home? I’m not comfortable with this and I want to press the school to have someone fly with her

Patricia

Hi My daughter is going to a field trip, shes a 9 years old, type 1 going to a public school and I want to be on a one to one with her and the school is saying that if I wanna to be on a one to one I have to pay for the trip for myself and the only way I wouldnt pay would be If I take care of a group and watch for other kids. Is this how is supposed to be? i cannot accompany her if I dont pay?

Marcus

I have never heard of a parent having to pay for a trip. You already paid for your daughter. I know sometimes schools ask for parent volunteers. I would ask the principal to get an answer to what is going on

Chuck

Someone knowledgeable of your state rules, and policies would need to answer this. Your state parent training and information center may be able to assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

ella

I imagine if you want to provide your own transportation and cost of the field trip (admission to wherever you are going), it shouldn’t be a problem for you to be one on one with your child. The school should not be on the hook for paying for your transportation and admission.

Kenzie

That is accurate. Free field trips are reserved for parents who will be chaperoning students on the field trip. If you are unable/unwilling to do this you should pay for the trip yourself.

Emily

This is incredibly normal. Field trips usually cost money, and the budget can only carry so many people. Often venues are willing to pay for so many chaperones. Hence, the school offered to let you be a chaperone, which does come with responsibilities. The school is paying for the admittance, and the venue is giving them and by virtue you a great discount on the assumption you are helping with an educational opportunity.

Rose

Is the school district even allowed to ask if a student receives free/reduced lunch on the field trip permission slip?

Marcus

Rose, I don’t think so. Why would they be asking that?

Jag

Will the students be bringing a sack lunch on the field trip? If so, those might be provided by the school to students who normally have free/reduced lunches.

michele

My daughter has adhd, anxiety and depression. Because of this she has struggled with her grades and attendance. The school has decided to ban her from the social dance and class trip because she is failing two classes. I feel that this is discriminatory and will cause her emotional stress and only worsen her condition. Can the school legally punish a student with a diagnosed emotional disorder and ADHD? Any suggestions on the best tactics in convincing the school to reverse their decision?
. .

Morning

Think long term. If anxiety is an issue and ATTENDANCE–what will motivate her to attend a dance? What will motivate her to go to high school classes and finish? What will motivate her for job training and transition after high school? The hardest thing I had to do was to allow the schools to do their job and implement expectations — it hurt at times but it worked. I felt as I was enabling behaviors and sometimes school staff can help in so many ways. Work with them with some creative ways to motivate her and take the heavy off of you as a parent. I agree that dances are important. Attendance issues may worsen when she knows that she has less to strive for to maintain attendance. Is there anyone who can collaborate with you to think outside the box? All kids deserve a chance.

Chris

We have a high school student that is planning on going on our music trip to New York in a week and a half. He has diabetes and refuses to monitor it and take responsibility for what he eats and drinks. He has missed school events on more than one occasion due to low sugar crashes. We do not want him to go on this trip, and the administration does not want to deal with his mother. We have set strict expectation on him and he will have one to one monitoring by a school supervisor on the trip. If he doesn’t follow these guidelines, he will be sent home. Are we wrong on this concern? I don’t see how legally it can be challenged, but what do I know.

Chuck

If the school attorney has not been contacted for advise on this, they should be.

Marion

I have a student in a private Montessori school who was not allowed to go on an overnight trip recently. The classroom teacher and the administration did not ask for input from the Special Education teacher (me) or the ABA Therapist. He is not a violent child at all and communicates very well. He can be loud, requires sensory breaks, likes to touch things, but can be redirected. The student told me his family could not afford the field trip but I found out that the classroom teacher told his Mom he could not go and the Mom lied to the child to spare his feelings. In turn, when I asked the child why he was not going, he said they could not afford it. The ABA therapist and I feel that he has been discriminated against.

Marcus

Marion,

Your feelings are correct he is being discriminated against. I see no reason that this young man could not participate in the overnight trip. He could have been easily accommodated with his sensory breaks and maybe even a 1:1 wrap around to help him from touching objects. Tell the parent they can file a complaint because he was left out. I do like the fact that his parents tried to spare his feelings but he should have went.

Michele

Jennifer – it doesn’t sound like the school has the right considerations in mind regarding your child going on the field trip. I have been a SpEd teacher for 24 years. This year I work with a student who is aggressive towards peers, and sometimes staff. He has at least one or two big episodes each week. Most occur at recess but sometimes the wrong words out of someone’s mouth will set him off. We have had to restrain this child at least twice this year so far to stop him from injuring another student. My issue is that the district says we have to take all students on field trips but this particular student is a high risk. Opinions?

Marcus

Is there a way to get a 1:1 wrap around to help control his outburst so that he can still participate in the trip.

Natalie

Yes, absolutely. If your child poses a problem in the classroom then how can they be trusted to meet expectations outside of the classroom with limited adult supervision. It is in the best interest of you for the safety of your child and the other students in his or her class. Field trips are stressful and can cause a ton of anxiety for teachers alone, throw an unnecessary behavioral issue into the mix and it is not even worth it at all. Maybe you should request that you accompany your daughter on the trip.

Amos

You would be very wrong in what you just said there are federal laws that protect our children with ADHD from this exact Situation. I am suing my son’s elementary school at this time because there are federal laws that protect our children especially when they have emotional problems they are not to be secluded as this can cause more damage to their emotional stability Think about what you say before you say it these teachers are paid to take care of our children in the classroom and on field trips

Burlinda

But what if you can’t attend? Then do they have a right to say he can’t go?

Chuck

No. 300.117 of IDEA regs say ” In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic & extracurricular services & activities.(schools) must ensure that each child with a disability participates with nondisabled children .. to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of that child..” School must ensure the child “has the supplementary aids & services determined by the child’s IEP Team to be appropriate & necessary for them to participate in nonacademic settings.” So the team is responsible for finding a solution. This could be the parent, but only if they agree. Otherwise the team must come up with another solution. Often teams do not consider a solution, & the teacher must come up with one at the last minute.

Michelle

Chuck, where do I find this in context? My child has an IEP and struggles with social emotional so when overwhelmed or frustrated he has melt downs which usually include noise and rolling on the floor. It is never towards anyone else. It’s him still trying to learn how to regulate and work on executive function. The school just informed me that this Monday (today is Thursday) they have decided he can’t go unless I do and I am out of town so now I need to find someone to go with him or find someone to watch him (because I’m not penalizing him by sending him to school for more work because they don’t have the funds to do their job).

This is why I got him the IEP, so he could have help. I’m tired of it.

Chuck

I am not sure what you meant by “find this in context”. The rule I quote is at 300.117 in the IDEA rules. Your state parent training and information center can assist you in finding this and your rights in trying to get this changed. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Michelle

Thanks! I found it after I posted this. Our annual IEP is in the morning so I will be printing the law out.

The link you posted doesn’t really have any one available. They are so overwhelmed it’s impossible to get to support in time. I have been lucky enough to have one of my kids getting counseling through a local medical community that offers a parent peer who is attending the meeting with me.

It’s really sad that there are so many kids who need better support and the parents have to fight for it.

Chuck

Sorry to hear about your difficulty in getting help. Wrightslaw books and website are great sources of info that I refer parents to. I cannot help with state specific questions, but can with general IDEA questions. You can contact me at: cnoe59@hotmail.com

Peter

Michelle – there may be other help beyond the Parent Center. You can do a web search for school advocates who may be able to assist you at no charge. There are often local legal aid services that have attorneys and advocates that are willing to help with school disputes. Or, look up the disability rights organizations for your state and ask them for a referral.

I live in a medium sized city in Ohio, and between the state, county and city there are several organizations that offer free advocacy and legal aid for situations just like yours.

Lee

Only if it is a safety concern and with tracked data. I am a paraprofessional working 1:1 with a student and for future field trips this student needs an additional familial support. They have had outbursts 3/4 fieldtrips that resulted in elopement, kicking/punching, and almost pulling a fire alarm at a museum, but everything is a case by case basis.

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. https://www.wrightslaw.com/howey/field.trip.transport.htm

kcarr

Pat,
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?

kcarr

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

Chuck

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

kcarr

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

Sonsy

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?

Chuck

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.

Matthew

What happens if it’s the school staff and teacher /principal specifically targeting a student with ADHD, high functioning autism and apbergers?
The summer school staff take him 2 times a week to parks, museums, fun zones, libraries. But his teacher(2nd grade) who threatens him in class constantly, belittles him and withholds his recess and lunch for wiggling and talking out of turn and had never read his IEP until after we had asked if she had read it( end of September after school started aug 16) says after we hired a lawyer that all of the sudden he is a “safety concern”

Marcus

Matthew, have you contacted the Superintendent of the schools or the director of special education? That is an option you can go with. You can also file a state complaint against the school personnel.

Marcus

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.

April

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?

Hello

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?

Chuck

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

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.

Chuck

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)

Alicia

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?

Marcus

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.

Chuck

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.

Concerned

What do we do if its the Principle and the Spec Ed Director that are causing the bullying by dramatically removing our child in front of other kids because of what he “might” do? What do we do if our child was denied going on a field trip because of what they “might” do, but have never done before? What recourse do we have?

Chuck

District policy should allow parents to take their concerns to the superintendent, & possibly the school board. IDEA rules give parents dispute resolution processes for situations like this. Your state parent training & information can tell you about how these work in your state & provide you other help. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Marcus

Concerned,

You can request a due process hearing to get to the bottom of why your child was removed in front of other kids. You can also file a complaint with your state education agency. You can even talk to the super independent. You may also need to contact your state and parenting training center. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/

Sharon

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