First thing is to go online and read district bullying policy.  File an official bully complaint.  If has a 504/IEP, ask for an emergency meeting. Outcome for all students is a safety plan to protect your child. 

First thing is to gather information from the school about where your child is functioning compared to same aged peers.  That might include a parent conference with a teacher; getting copies of your child’s educational records including any evaluations or informal placement tests like iready; and possibly requesting an updated formal reading evaluation from your school.  Assuming you have this information, you then determine the deficits and then address those deficits directly with training personnel.

RtI – Response to Intervention – does not delay or prevent an evaluation from being done.  See the OSEP decision on our Resource page.

Here is a sample response to the school:

Dear principal xx:

I have requested xx evaluation, I was told my child needs to go through RTI first.  I understand however that RtI cannot delay or deny an evaluation.  Please see the OSEP decision issued in 2011 on this issue.  As such, I am again requesting that xx evaluation be conducted without any further delay.

Thank you,


If they have any IEP or 504, ask for an emergency meeting.  If the suspension is for 10 days or longer, and they have an IEP or 504, ask for a manifestation determination hearing.  If you disagree with the discipline, object to the discipline in writing and ask for a reconsideration.  If you child does not have an IEP or 504 plan, ask for an evaluation for one because they might be in need of additional supports or services.  Finally, if you are told that you are required to attend an alternative school during the suspension, you do not have to attend the alternative school.  You can stay home for those suspension days.  You should ask for all assignments and missed work to be sent home. 

If you are called to pick up your child early, it is tantamount to an out of school suspension. You should document the call in writing, and object to this call and removal of the student form direct instruction.  Ask how they are going to make up the missed instruction time.  If you have a 504 or IEP, then ask for an emergency meeting.  If it adds up to 10 days or more, ask for a manifestation hearing.  If you child does not have an IEP or 504 plan, ask for an evaluation for one because they might be in need of additional supports or services. 

This is a hard one, but you should push back if this is done. The best arguments are that you are denying this child the same opportunities as their nondisabled peers.  This is discrimination.  Also you could argue that they are punishing the child for having a disability – also discrimination. Finally, argue that they should not deny this child the only opportunity to move or socialize as it will be more harmful for the child and their development.        

Yes. The school administrators, teachers, law enforcement officers and any other grown up can question a minor without a parent present at any time and for any reason.  The only way to stop questioning is for the child to say “I want an attorney”.  Asking for a parent or having a disability will not stop questioning.  We do suggest however that if you child has a 504 or IEP to put into the plan that the minor should not be questioned without a parent present because of their disability. 

Yes.  The school can restrain/seclude your child without your consent.  However if you have an IEP or 504, and your child is being restrained/secluded, you need a behavior plan to address proper interventions that do not include restraint/seclusion.  You should never consent to restraint/seclusion on a behavior plan.  Please know that CPI – Crisis Prevention & Intervention training – includes restraint and seclusion. The purpose of the CPI is to reduce the injury to adult staff – it’s not about protecting your child. If you don’t have an IEP or 504 – you need one if your child is being restrained or secluded. 

Seclusion is not a short time out or break.  Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.  But we believe it also includes any time the student is missing direct instruction from their teacher – for example they are placed in the office for the day, being in a room alone with an adult aide for a long period of time, being excluded from the lunch room to eat with your adult aide.  Seclusion rooms are legal.  Seclusion room can be metal boxes with locks on the outside and are legal as long as they have a small window and light on inside the box. 

If your child is baker acted from school, and they have an IEP or 504 plan, ask for an emergency meeting.  Also, if they do not have a behavior plan ask for one.  If they do not have counseling on their IEP or 504 plan, you must ask for it. For all students, you should also ask for a safety plan and a reentry plan. Do not consent to voluntarily baker act your child from school.  Baker acting is only appropriate if there are no less restrictive settings so if you have a treating psychologist / psychiatrist they can step in and say the hospital is not the least restrictive environment. 

Yes. Legally they cannot be excluded and the program must provide all the services and accommodations in the IEP / 504.  Practically however, they make it very difficult for your child to get in  and/or stay in the program. You have to weigh the needs of your child and look at your whole child and decide if this is the best environment for your child. Do the benefits of this program outweigh the needs of the child?