New OSEP Guidance: Discipline for SpEd Students

This kind of got lost in the buzz over the new Supreme Court decision, but the federal Office of Special Education Programs recently published new guidance concerning discipline of students with disabilities. Discipline has always been an important area and it was one of the key reasons that the federal special ed law was created in the first place. Expulsion and long term suspensions were among the mechanisms used to prevent children with disabilities from attending public school. As a result, the predecessor of IDEA contained specific protections against disciplinary changes of placement for special ed students.

Unfortunately, the field of discipline gives many teachers, parents, administrators, principals, and regulators stomach aches. The discipline rules have become fairly complex. When understood in context, however, they are not so hard to apply.

The new OSEP guidance includes OSEP's take on whether disciplinary rules apply when the parent revokes consent for services tat had been being received; that home instruction cannot be the sole IAES option; and clarification regarding the behavior requirements. You can review the new policy guidance here.