Son's Punishment Seems Over the Top

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    • #109960

      My 12-year-old son has ADHD and a 504 plan. He recently received 1 1/2 days of out of school suspension for behaviors that I believe are related to his disability. He received lunch/recess detention in ISS for drinking juice at recess (which is against the rules). When he signed in to ISS, he scrawled his name illegibly, so was asked to do it again. He wrote his name clearly the second time but under “Reason for being here” he wrote “IDK, homie.” So he was being silly and possibly attention-seeking. When it was time for him to leave ISS, another student winked at him behind his back and he burst out laughing. From this, the assistant principal determined that he was not taking his punishment seriously. She called me to pick him up and suspended him for the following school day also.

      I would like to write a letter to the school administration protesting the severity of this punishment. My son has learning and organizational difficulties and does not need to be missing school. Can anyone help me with language related to the 504 law? What should I say? Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

    • #110481
      Dr. Eric

      Your challenge is that, even in special education law (504 is a little more loose), procedural safeguards really don’t kick in until 3 suspensions and/or 10 days.

      the official language is along the lines of “represents a change of placement”, but these are the common rules of thumb.

    • #112612

      I think some of what you described is a bit over the top. I think that asking him to rewrite his name wasn’t out of line, but him getting in trouble for it was out of line. Even if he was being silly/attention seeking that may very well be because he doesn’t have the language skills or emotional skills to explain that his bad handwriting was due to ADD or motor issues.

      I also think the longer he’s out of class, the further behind he’ll get and ultimately that isn’t worth whatever lesson he’s supposed be learning. Also, why was he drinking juice at recces? Was he simply thirsty? was there a reason he had to drink then? they need to work on figuring out why he broke the rule, oftentimes it’s more complicated than just him being insubordinate.

      I think oftentimes schools in trying to punish kids with ADD forget to focus on finding a punishment that “fits the crime” and that actually teaches your son what he needs to learn.

    • #112645

      Not to go against what you’re saying, but it’s so hard to determine all that. Teachers sometimes don’t have enough time to consider everything on a case-by-case basis.

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