Toolbox Tuesday!! We have a student who is a registered sex offender. What now?

The Toolbox is a full day training program designed to help you serve students with disabilities who present challenging behaviors.  These challenges are particularly acute when you have a student who is required to register as a sex offender.

The starting point is that you should contact your school attorney to work through this situation carefully.  There are a couple of policies you and your attorney are going to need to look at.  Start out with Policy FOE in the Policy Reference Manual which tracks the subchapter in Chapter 37 (Subchapter I, Sections 37.301 to 37.313) that specifically addresses this issue.  In a nutshell, the subchapter calls for the removal of such a student from the “regular classroom,” at least for a period of time in most cases.  But remember the fundamentals of special education law—placement decisions are never made by statute, by school policy, or by administrative directive. Placements are made by ARD Committees.

Section 37.307 recognizes this:

(a)  The placement under this subchapter of a student with a disability who receives special education services must be made in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(b)  The review under Section 37.306 of the placement of a student with a disability who receives special education services may be made only by a duly constituted admission, review, and dismissal committee. The admission, review, and dismissal committee may request that the board of trustees convene a committee described by Section 37.306(a) to assist the admission, review, and dismissal committee in conducting the review.

The other policy to review is FL, dealing with confidentiality and student records under FERPA.  FERPA has numerous provisions that permit student information to be disclosed without parent consent.  One of those has to do with sex offenders.  Personally identifiable information from student records can be disclosed sans consent if:

The disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14071, and the information was provided to the educational agency under 42 U.S.C. 14071 and applicable Federal guidelines.  34 CFR 99.31(a)(16).

There’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo there.  So call your school attorney before disclosing information about the student to others to make sure that the disclosure satisfies every part of that regulation.

These are the kind of challenging situations we deal with in a Toolbox workshop.  If you think this would be beneficial in your district, give me a buzz.  Toolbox is packed up and ready to go.


 Tomorrow: Don’t miss that timeline!