Son is being excluded from field trip

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    • #83761

      My son has adhd and anxiety hes had a really good year this year behavioral wise but a few incidents here and there but i was just informed this afternoon that he will not be allowed to attend his field trip tomorrow because they are afraid he will have an “episose” he can only go if i go is this not discrimination??

    • #83781
      Penny Williams

      That is ABSOLUTELY discrimination. I would call them out on it with a reply like…

      “Not allowing a student to attend a field trip solely due to disability is excluding a child due to disability, which is against the law. I’m happy to file a discrimination complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights if you still feel you won’t allow him to participate. It’s up to you.”

      Don’t let them get away with it. Educators should not be allowed to hurt a child, and excluding one child does exactly that.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #85585

        Wow, totally never thought of it as discrimination due to disability. My son was denied a field trip WITH support from his uncle; ha had adhd and I see signs of ODD. The school did have special duties for him to do in school but I felt it was extremely unfair. Afterwards the teacher lied and told my son they went to another school but the trip was to the planetarium. I am definitely adding something to his 504 plan to address this next year.

    • #84563

      While I understand how frustrating it can be for you to have to go on the field trip, maybe you should just change your point of view. It can be a great time to spend with your child and help him in making friends. Maybe the teacher is worried about safety, for him and others. It is a huge responsibility taking students on field trips. Maybe there is an aid that could be his buddy. While this can be a legal issue, why not take a higher road in helping the school better support your child?

      • #85083

        I agree with the post above that encourages you (and really, all of us) to try looking at it from a different point of view rather than getting into an adversarial sticky legal mess, especially if you don’t have to.

        I’m just a mom of a couple special needs kids, but about a million years ago, I used to be a teacher. I think, just speaking from my own awesome experience with my kiddos’ school, the best results seem to come from when you go into the situation ready to bend and compromise. Both I and everyone on my kidlets’ team, from therapist to NP to teachers, we’ve all been at this with my boys for a few years now, and any successes we’ve had have come from being willing to compromise and not getting so caught up in legalities, rules, and such… It seems like then it would be easy to lose sight of doing what’s best for the child, and become more about who’s winning. But that’s just my opinion. And it’s hard to find that perfectly magical mixture of people and circumstance that allow for that.

        That all being said, lol, specifically about field trips- I’ve been asked to go on them for the same reasons that you stated. Personally, I hate chaperoning field trips (I know, it’s great for other people). But I went. I know I could’ve raised an issue about it, but it just didn’t feel like it was what would help my boys at that particular time. And it goes back to the compromising thing I mentioned earlier- I know that my sons’ school has done the same on their end. And to show for it, we’ve got two boys who know that their mom and teachers (and everyone else) loves them, and they’re making progress. All I can ask for.

        I hope I haven’t rambled on too long, I never comment on these (it’s my first time), but I hope my experience has helped you in some way. In the end, whatever decision you choose to make, you can be sure that we’re all here, standing with you, ready to support you. We gotta stick together!!! 🤣

    • #84778

      From the perspective of both a parent and an education assistant, take the opportunity (if you can get the time off work) to go on the field trip with your son. When we have students who have a recent history of behaviour problems (and normally require an EA to be with them at school), for safety and budget reasons, we can only allow the student to go if a parent accompanies them on the field trip. If it’s an extended hours or overnight trip, it costs a lot of money to pay the EA staff for all of their extra time.

      A student that I currently work with is staying back from his class trip. I was heartbroken for him, but he also just hasn’t been stable enough emotionally and behaviourally to attend. Since he isn’t on the trip, though, myself and his other assistant have planned some fun activities for him in and around the community.

      Now, your son may not be as unstable as this student that I work with, but it wouldn’t hurt to contact the school and find out what their concerns are about your son going on this field trip. And, if he is still unable to attend, you have every right to find out how they are going to enrich his learning experience in lieu of a field trip.

      I wish you luck! I would be heartbroken if it was my own son in your position. At the beginning of the year, he punched his teacher, and was having a very difficult time getting along with others. But after some cognitive behavioural therapy and medication, he is no longer a safety concern for the school staff.

    • #84781

      I ditto the last post, please find out more detail from the school. It might be that you can help negotiate a way for him to attend. It will be hard not to get defensive, but if you can manage that it may help ease the situation.

      If not, I also think that if you or another family member can go on the trip, it would be a benefit for you. I really couldn’t go to as many classroom things as I wanted to, but it was such a huge help for me to see my kid’s classmates, see my kid interact with others, see the teachers while they are working, etc.

      It’s hugely important to find out what he’ll be doing if left behind, and who else might be left behind too. Maybe you could give him a reward for good behavior away from the class, so that he’s able to feel solid about the day after. Good luck!

    • #85040

      Even though it sounded “discrimination”, it all depends. Does your child have a Section 504 or an IEP? Any Behavioral Plan? Any accommodations about this? If not, school is not obligate to take your son to a field trip especially if they say taking him to a trip is risky and not safe for himself or for others. At this point, I would do whatever you can afford, whether to go with him or let him stay in school if you cannot take a day off. Meanwhile, you ask the school for a meeting to identify him for a Section 504 or an IEP. Then, you ask for Behavior Intervention Plans.

    • #85049

      I agree with lots the other posters have said including the fact if your child’s IEP/504 states they will be included in the general education curriculum the school must make accommodations to support him inside and out of the classroom during school hours. As someone who is a parent of two kids with ADHD as well as a K-8 school social worker, I will also say, while ideally no child should be excluded solely because of a disability, it sounds like the school is trying to be realistic about their resources while weighing the education and safety needs of staff and other neurotypical students along with those of your son, and if you are available, feel it would make everyone’s experience better and easier (emphasis on easier), including your son’s, if you can go. This does not mean it is the best long term solution.

      I’m curious to know more about what behavior the school is seeing as well as your son’s age? With ADHD this behavior might range from frequent reminders to stay with group, attend to docent/guide, keep hands to self, keep self and others safe. I’ve been asked to go on field trips as a social worker to support students who have behavioral challenges and needed to keep 100% of my attention on the child at all times to insure they did not endanger self and others because of weak impulse control. On one elementary trip to the Highline in NYC it took most of my time to make sure the child (2nd grade) was safely on the path rather than climbing on the elevated train track railing and falling to the street below or ripping out and destroying the flowers and plants – both of which were attempted multiple times. It’s hard to imagine a parent keeping track of a group of kids plus one child with such challenges and I am a social worker and knew the child. It would have been a lot to ask a parent who was not familiar with his needs to keep him safe.

      So all of this said, if your child needs extra accommodations for field trips, bring this up either at the next scheduled meeting with school support staff or ask for a meeting. You can document times when you are asked to attend events or field trips and ask the school keep track of any needs your son has that would enable him to attend field trips without you and when it is time to revisit his IEP/504 plan write these additional supports into the plan for the following year. Bottom line, I would inquire more about why the school feels this way, what kind of support your son needs and work with them. From a school staff perspective, it makes all the difference when a particularly challenging child who we all want to see succeed, has a family who supports them at home and at school – whether this is validating what the school experiences and asking for more accommodations or in the mean time, going along on field trips or being “on-call” at the school during state testing – every little bit goes a long way.

      All the best to you!

    • #85053

      This samething happened to my son as well. My son has adhd/odd. He also gets bullied. I filed a complaint with 311 and explained to them my situation. Did they asked you if you can go on the trip with him?

    • #85054

      I’m a little surprised at the responses here from the educational community. “Budget reasons” are not a legal reason to exclude a disabled child from anything, and are opening up the school for a lawsuit, and a safety plan in any circumstance where safety is an issue is the responsibility of the school.

      I’d make sure that the school will offer a trained 1:1 aide for the child, since that is apparently what they expect from the parent to ensure safety – and I would ask them for a written version of the safety plan they are going to implement to address the safety concerns they expressed in their original email.

      • #85072

        My apologies if it seemed like I claimed “budget reasons” as a valid reason. Right or wrong, it is one of the reasons that our school has only allowed kids with high behaviour needs (i.e. safety concerns for the student with needs and/or the other students) to attend overnight field trips if a parent accompanies them on the trip. The school admin is not willing to spend the money on paying an EA the overtime and double time that would be required on a trip like that. They would sooner send another teacher (who is salaried).

        As an EA, (in Canada here) I would be hard pressed to go on an overnight field trip with a child and forego time with my own family.

    • #85106

      I’m a mom of an ADHD kid and I have been asked twice now to go on field trips with my son and the second time he was going to be excluded from it if I didn’t go. I gave the school and ear full and I went as I did’t want that for him and would not miss out on an opportunity to be with him. However on the flip side he told me that kids had asked him after the first one “Why was your mom here?”, I was the only parent that went. On the second one there was more interaction and he would not do anything with anyone else, just me. My son’s issues are mild in compassion to what he was like when we first diagnosis him and is main trouble is only related to doing his school work otherwise he is very well behaved and a joy to be around. I don’t know the best answer to this, but I know what you are going through and feel it is very unfair to both you and your son. We are meeting later today to discuss option for next year.

    • #109922

      I am a teacher and needed resources to help me handle an upcoming field trip with a child on the spectrum with ODD and behavior issues. It is good to understand the legalities although not practical. Parents, as teachers we have 25 other kids to watch out for on terms of safety. If you know your Child has behavior issues, why are you going to induce extra stress? Just for the sake of inclusion? Schools depend upon teachers to deal with it. There isn’t a resource person to go along the field trip.some schools find it hard enough as it is to get a substitute!!! Parents, it isn’t discrimination it is safety and practicality. Please sign that field trip form to attend and support your Child and teacher.

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