On Tuesdays we save this space for issues related to the Toolbox, our firm’s one day training program regarding discipline of students with disabilities. Today we consider how a unique Texas statute fits into the Toolbox.
The statute, T.E.C. 37.002, authorizes classroom teachers to order the “removal” of an unruly student from the classroom. The statute applies to all students—general education students, 504 students, special education students. Removals come in two categories: discretionary and mandatory. Today we review what happens when the removal is “discretionary.”
Teachers can order the removal of the student when 1) the teacher has documented repeated interference with the teacher’s ability to communicate, or with the ability of the class to learn; or 2) when the student’s behavior is so unruly, disruptive or abusive that it seriously interferes with the teacher’s ability to communicate or the ability of the students to learn.
When this happens, the CBC (Campus Behavior Coordinator) or other administrator swings into action by calling for a conference to be attended by the teacher, the student and the parent. The conference must be held within three class days of the day of removal, and the student cannot be sent back to the teacher’s classroom until the conference is held. At the conference, the administrator gives the student written or oral notice of the reasons for the removal, and the student has a chance to respond.
After the conference, and after giving consideration to all of the relevant factors, the CBC or designee makes a decision among four options. First, the student can be assigned to “another appropriate classroom.” Second, the student can spend some time in ISS (In School Suspension). Third, the student might go to DAEP. Fourth, the student can be sent back to the teacher who removed the student. This fourth option carries an asterisk. The teacher has to consent to the student’s return. If the teacher does not give consent, the matter goes to the Placement Review Committee (PRC) which has the power to override the teacher.
Let’s think about how this meshes with the tools in the Toolbox if the student who is removed is in your special education program.
ASSIGNED TO ANOTHER APPROPRIATE CLASSROOM: If the IEP remains the same, the services are the same, the schedule is the same, and it’s just a matter of replacing the teacher with another teacher, this would not be a change of placement. Therefore, the CBC could order this, without the necessity of an ARD meeting. You do not need to use any of the “tools” in the Toolbox to do this. However, if you want to add or revise a BIP, or otherwise beef up services to support the teacher, you will need an ARD or an IEP Amendment to do that. ISS. If the CBC chooses to assign the student a few days of ISS, the CBC will need to know two things: 1) in our district do we “count” the days in ISS toward the ten-day limit? 2) is the student
within the FAPE-Free Zone? If the school has not used up the student’s 10-day FAPE-Free Zone, then the CBC can definitely use Tool #7 to assign the student to ISS for a few days. If the FFZ is already exhausted, then it matters whether or not ISS “counts.” We dive into this in some detail in Toolbox training.
DAEP: this is not going to be an option unless the CBC concludes that the student’s conduct meets the standards in the Code of Conduct for a DAEP assignment. If that’s the case, the CBC should consider Tool #6—a Disciplinary Change of Placement. This requires due process and an ARD meeting for a manifestation determination.
BACK TO THE SAME TEACHER: If the teacher gives consent to take the student back, then this is an easy option. However, the CBC might want to consider additional support for the teacher. Does the student have a BIP? If not, it might be time to consider one. If so, it might be time to improve it. To add support for the teacher generally requires changes to the IEP. Thus you would need to either call for an ARD meeting, or document parental agreement to IEP changes.
We will address mandatory removals next Tuesday, and then dive into PRC protocol the week after that. Keep coming back!
DAWG BONE: TEACHERS CAN ORDER A REMOVAL. THIS NECESSITATES A CONFERENCE.
Tomorrow: copyright infringement!