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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 110425
Experience:  Attorney handling education matters.
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My son is a special education student with the disability of

Customer Question

My son is a special education student with the disability of autism. He has always had behavioral problems. He also has ADHD and ODD, but the school didn't write these two in the IEP. The problem is that my son is on the special education bus and regularly argues with the driver. I don't know why the driver argues with him instead of finding a way to deal with him. He's not violent; he's just argumentative and somewhat defiant eg. not wanting to put his candy away when the driver tells him to. He got kicked off the bus yesterday for not sitting down in his seat.
Transportation has been written into his IEP, My understanding is that NOTHING about the ARD can be changed until a Manifest Determination ARD has been held. In addition, I am 100% certain this behavior is related to his disability and that he shouldn't be disciplined anyway, but I know that will have to be determined by the committee, right?
I seriously need answers asap because I'm at work at the time he needs to be taken home from school and will not be paid for the time I have to take off if I have to start picking him up. And I truly believe the school is breaking the law at this point; however, due to bureaucratic time delays, I feel like they're going to drag this out until the end of school which is a month away.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under the IDEA, a school may not alter the IEP without a meeting of the IEP team. As far as discipline, they are not supposed to discipline the child for actions caused directly by the disability unless it is a danger to the student or others. So, it depends upon his behavior on the bus and whether it was found distracting enough to the driver that it could be a safety issue. Even if that is the case, under IDEA you still can request and fight for an aide to accompany him on the bus to prevent any interaction with the driver or disturbing the driver while the driver is trying to pay attention to driving.
If the IEP team is not meeting and giving the proper hearing to the matter, your next step is to file in writing for a due process writing sending a copy to the IEP coordinator, the school board and also the state department of education. Once you submit this, they must set up a hearing on the matter with an independent hearing officer to review what has gone on and why this discipline was made and no efforts were made to make some accommodation (such as aide on the bus) or other alternatives before taking this drastic discipline and also they will look at why they do not have the ADD/ADHD in the IEP as well.

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