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Cat:  I’m an SLP who recently began working in the state of California. I’m working in a junior high school.

I have several students who receive curriculum support, but spend the majority of their day in regular education classes. I was told not to pull these student from their curriculum support because their special education minutes are written into the IEP. I’ve been trying to pull the majority of my students from their electives (most of my students receive speech therapy 1x per week and they have their elective every day).

Today I pulled a student from his elective and his teacher stated loudly in front of the class that he would be penalized for missing class, unable to make-up the work, and that his grade would suffer. I tried to explain that his speech therapy time was mandated in his IEP and it was binding, legal document. She said she didn’t care.

I apologized to the student who was blinking back tears and said I would find another time to see him. Unfortunately, this student seems to be struggling to maintain an average grade in all his academic classes.

I’m furious, but I can’t seem to find anything legal and specific that states that teachers can’t penalize students for missing general education time to receive special education services. I spoke to administration and they said there was nothing that can be done. I feel like this teacher is basically punishing this student for his disability.

Is there any legal recourse?

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I just wanted to share an incident that my daughter had in 6 grade, we had to have here pulled out of her music class, for RTI for math. The music teacher (of all people) said to her. Oh… your one of those RTI kids. Of course this was in front of the class as she was handing her the slip to leave the class. She treated her no better then her classmates,
who is the adult here. She was later diagnosed with NLD

Steven j

Put the teachers name and the school principle’s name ( and school) on Facebook , twitter etc and create an example of how to be unprofessional and insensitive! This may sound absurd, but the truth is sometimes you have to appeal to the court of public opinion to get results! Possibly it will get the BOE to notice and deal with such an uncaring educator.


Do this and you can be charged with slander.

Steven, We do not recommend that the speech language therapist try to humiliate other school staff, especially on social media. It doesn’t work and will just make a bad situation worse. The person with the grievance, in this case, the SLP, will NOT win anything in the “court of public opinion” by putting personal info like names up on FB, etc.

We have a different suggestion, “Walking in the School’s Shoes: Help them WANT to Help Your Child.” You can read about it here:


I am also a SLP. I have students on IEPs who need “pull out” instruction. The principal is informing the related services providers that the student(s) can not be pulled out during core class, electives or RTI to provide the IEP services. This leaves us with the first 30 min in the morning and lunch to see all the students on the campus. Of course, we take into consideration each students needs and best time to pull them for services. Many students are seen using a “push in” model but for some student that model does not allow for the direct instruction they require. Do state/district (related services cannot happen as pullout during core curriculum, elective or RTI/MTSS time) rules and regulations override the IEP? Legally, when can a service provider “pull/not pull” students?


The services listed in the IEP are to followed. The district SLP supervisor or special ed director need to get involved with the principal to resolve this.


I have a similar question. My son is in Special Ed. He is in first grade, and has pull-out or resource class 3 times a week. At the 1st parent teacher conference we found out that his general ed and P.E. teacher both gave him failing grades because he missed assignments/class from when he was in pull-out.
Why are they not just grading him on the assignments he did? Is this legal? Why are they punishing him for his IEP accommodations? What can we do?
I have requested another IEP meeting this morning.


There may be a FERPA violation here, if the teacher said these things in front of other students.

I’m sorry I don’t have any more specific information for you about your main question; but I would encourage you to contact your state education department’s special ed unit.