It’s Toolbox Tuesday, which means we want to talk about the disciplinary options you have when dealing with students who have disabilities. The Toolbox is an all day training program, highlighting ten “tools” that you can use to maintain order and safety, while also serving each student appropriately. Tool #5 addresses the three “special circumstances” that authorize a swift disciplinary removal of the student for up to 45 school days. One of the three “special circumstances” involves drug offenses.
The specific language in the regulation authorizes school administrators to remove a student who:
Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA [State Educational Agency] or an LEA [Local Educational Agency]. 34 CFR 300.530(g)(2).
We notice that there is no mention of alcohol there. There are plenty of federal laws and regulations that refer to “drugs or alcohol” but this one does not. So if a student has a six-pack of Shiner Bock at the school sponsored baseball game, can the principal invoke “special circumstances”? We don’t think so. The principal can certainly impose a disciplinary penalty for this violation of the Code of Conduct. But “special circumstances”? Nope.
This is the type of thing we review in detail in the Toolbox training. If interested, send me an email at email@example.com.
DAWG BONE: SHINER BOCK IS GOOD AT A BASEBALL GAME. BUT IT VIOLATES THE CODE OF CONDUCT.