We like to highlight The Toolbox around here on Tuesdays. The Toolbox is a one-day training program accompanied by a book and some laminated charts, all focused on serving students appropriately while maintaining discipline and safety.
One of the more challenging situations you will encounter is when a student commits a serious violation of your Code of Conduct, but the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability. What then?
Federal law is actually pretty specific and detailed about this and so we spend quite a bit of time on this in the Toolbox Training. But if you want the shorthand version of what to do, here it is:
DON’T PUNISH IT
DON’T IGNORE IT
That makes sense. If a student’s behavior is directly attributable to the student’s disability, you would not want to punish it. That would be the same as punishing the student for having a disability. We call that disability-based discrimination.
But you can’t ignore inappropriate behavior. So the thing to do is to call for an ARD meeting and discuss what can be done to teach the student more appropriate behaviors. That’s what BIPs are all about.
There is more to it than that, with state law playing a part as well as the federal law. But this early in the school year I think we’ll just stick with the “blocking and tackling.” Don’t punish. Don’t ignore.
If you are interested in a Toolbox Training, just let me know.
DAWG BONE: THE BEHAVIOR IS A MANIFESTATION OF DISABILITY: DON’T PUNISH IT. DON’T IGNORE IT.
Got a question or comment for the Dawg? Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow: coming attractions…