Discipline in High School and Elementary Education
When it comes to special education, discipline is a major concern in this area because many students are incessantly being expelled for their behavior issues that are caused by their disabilities.With the previous law students were excluded from school and received long suspension time because of their behavioral problems but when the new law was passed in 2004 students that are disable, is entitle to a free appropriate education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and can no longer be expel from school if their behavior is due to their disability.
With the new law, students can no longer be suspended for more than 10 days during a school term for behavioral issues and 45 days for weapon and illegal drugs.A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) should be included within the special need students Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at the beginning of each school year so that the general education teachers is aware of the students behavioral problems and is able to handle them before the student get out of hand and the other students learning is disruptive.
If students know what is expected of them in the beginning, I believe that they will try to keep their behavior under control especially when they are in a more controlled and structure classroom.
During the interview process, I learned that both high school and elementary education follow the same guidelines and rules when it comes to discipline special needs students; they have to follow the laws under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004.
The only difference that I reconginzed is that high school administrators feel that special need students at their school should be comfortable with their disabilities and have their behavioral under control because they have dealt with many issues throughout their elementary education and had various behavorial intervention plan in place which are various techniques that are used to help alleviate their behavior. With special education teachers being a high demand now, new
teachers should be well informed on how to discipline special needs students. Mrs. Davis expressed, issues that frequently occur with special needs students will be, if their wrongdoing is a direct manifestation of the student disability and new or experience teachers should be aware if the student disability is affecting their behavior. Since discipline is a major issue that appears to occur in schools due to special education students being included into regular education classrooms.
Students tend to act out because they are not on the same level as their non-disable peers and feel as though they are not able to complete the same course work and receive a passing grade therefore they begin to disrupt the class instead of asking for help when it is needed. I can understand the student frustration when they are not able to answer questions or other students make fun of them because they could not get the correct answer.
These students are in a mainstream classroom with their peers but are not on the same reading level as them and it is difficult for them to participate in class and feel as if they are up to part (T. Davis, personal communication, December 16, 2013). Ms. James stated that discipline issues that occur with special needs students in her school are students that are emotionally disturbed. These students disrespect their authority figures, fight other students and it even goes so far as them threatening to harm teachers and other students (S.James, personal communication, December 18, 2013).
The court case that influence the school district is Honig v. Doe, the court ruled that students with disabilities can not be excluded from school for any misbehavior that is disability related but the educational service could cease if the misbehavior is not related to the disability (wrightlaw, 2011). We discussed the challenges that administrators and teachers face related to special education students. According to Mrs.
Davis a special need student has a plan of action in place which drives his/her instructions, if special need students commit serious wrongdoings which is not a manifestation of his disability then he/she will be reprimanded; the same as a regular education student (Ms. Davis, 2013). Doe v. Koger (1979) court case influence the school district because the court implied that students with disabilities could be expelled when there was no relationship between their misconduct and their disabilities, a perspective that became known as the manifestation of the disability doctrine (Osborne, 2007).
Ms.James stated that this is a big challenge for administrators and teachers because special needs students do not receive the same disciplinary actions as regular students although they committed the same misconduct. It is unfair that their learning and others students learning is being disruptive and teachers have to accept their inappropriate behavior because they are protected under IDEA (S. James, 2013). The disciplinary procedure is perplex between the two groups; some individual may think that it is fair for the two groups to received different action against them for their misbehaving in the classroom but Mrs.
Davis think that disciplinary action is demanding when managing these two groups because it require the teachers to stay abreast of all of the individuality of the special need student so that instructional as well as behavioral problems maybe avoided by quick adjustments in the classroom. On the other hand, Ms. James felt that special needs students are not sent to the office quicker than regular education students. Teachers have to deal with their behavior and try different positive behavior techniques with them.
Some students are not aware of disciplinary decisions and actions between both groups of students, special needs students do not realize that they can not be expelled from school. According to Osborne, the court did not leave school officials without recourse; it added that they could suspend students with disabilities for up to 10 days if they posed an immediate threat to the safety of others. I also learned that it is imperative that the parents are involved and provided with procedural safeguard information which identifies their child’s rights related to special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The interview goes on to discuss how parents react to how their children are being punished different from a special need student, they are not happy with the rules because they feel that every student should received the same punishment regardless. We also discussed the decision that the district makes and the ladies stated that the district stands behind Tribunal’s decision and the special education director is responsible for training.