It’s Toolbox Tuesday!! Which “stay put” rule do we apply?

Here’s an interesting hypothetical that could be analyzed via the Toolbox.  A student is in the process of being evaluated for possible special education eligibility.   While that process is going on, the student brings a dangerous weapon to school.  An ARDC meeting is called, even though the student is not yet eligible for special education.  The ARDC concludes that the DAEP would be an appropriate placement for the student. But the parent disagrees with that and asks for a due process hearing. In the hearing request, the parent alleges that the DAEP placement is wrong, and that the behavior of the student is a manifestation of disability. But he also claims that the student should have been made eligible for special education at least one year ago. So you have a hearing that will address disciplinary issues, but also “child find” and the provision of FAPE.

Which “stay put” rule do we use?

In the Toolbox Training we emphasize that there are two “stay puts.”  One of them deals with disputes over placement, child find, the provision of services and other such things.  In those cases you use the traditional “stay put” and so the student stays in the current placement.  The other “stay put” deals with appeals of disciplinary decisions.  In those instances, the student stays in the IAES (Interim Alternative Educational Setting) chosen by the IEP Team (ARDC).  So what do you do when the due process hearing involves both types of issues?

I think Tool #5 provides the answer here.  The Toolbox involves ten “tools” that school officials can use to carry out their legal responsibilities. Tool #5 is a “special circumstance removal” and it’s sort of a trump card.  If the student brings a dangerous weapon to school, the principal can use Tool #5 to remove the student to an IAES for up to 45 school days.  This can be done even if the student’s behavior is a manifestation of disability, as long as the ARDC has concluded that the setting is appropriate for the student.  So I think your hearing officer would likely conclude that the student “stays put” in the IAES—in this case, that’s the DAEP.

Interested in learning more?  I do the Toolbox Training at school districts and ESCs and would love to come your way. So let me know.



Tomorrow: you win your lawsuit and recover $1.00?  Really???