Toolbox Tuesday!! “Mandatory removal” and the student with a disability.

We save Tuesdays here at the Daily Dawg for reminders regarding The Toolbox—our firm’s one day training program addressing the discipline of students with disabilities.  Today we focus on the provision in state law that empowers teachers to remove unruly kids from the classroom—Section 37.002 of the Texas Education Code. 

Last week we told you how “discretionary removal” works.  Today’s subject is “mandatory” removal.  The classroom teacher is required to order a student’s removal if the teacher believes that the student has committed an offense that would call for DAEP or expulsion. 

In Toolbox terminology, this calls for the use of Tool #6—Disciplinary Change of Placement.  The teacher has reported the commission of an offense that would call for a long term disciplinary penalty. So the district needs to provide the student due process.  If the administrator concludes that the student has, in fact, committed the offense, the matter goes to an ARD meeting for a manifestation determination.  All of this is encompassed within Tool #6. 

If the reported offense involves “special circumstances” (drugs, weapons, serious bodily injury) then the CBC can use Tool #5—a Special Circumstances Removal.  This means that the student is assigned to an IAES (Interim Alternative Educational Setting) for up to 45 school days. However, the CBC still needs to call for an ARD meeting to make a manifestation determination and determine what IAES would be appropriate. It’s usually the DAEP.

If the CBC determines that the student did not commit the offense, then other options are on the table, but the student cannot be sent back to the same teacher unless the teacher consents.  If the teacher refuses to consent, the matter goes to the PRC as we outlined last week.   The same is true if the ARD determines that the behavior is a manifestation of disability.  If that’s the case, then  Tool #6 is unavailable.  Back to the drawing board.

One more wrinkle: if the student was removed due to an assault of the teacher resulting in bodily injury, the student may not be returned to that teacher’s classroom.  Not even the PRC can override the teacher in that situation.  Can the ARD override the teacher?  Well…if that’s the only way the district can provide FAPE, probably so. But such situations require careful analysis and should be decided by an ARD Committee only after legal consultation. 

We’re going to address one more “teacher removal” issue on the next Toolbox Tuesday, but that won’t be until March 24.  Spring break, y’all. 


Tomorrow: a lesson on “standing”