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Dear ADDitude: What If the Teacher Doesn't Follow the 504 Plan?

"My son's algebra teacher refuses to accept his late work or provide a quiet room for tests, despite accommodations to this effect in his 504 Plan. His grades are suffering as a result, so the school wants to move him down to repeat pre-algebra. How will that solve anything?"

3 Comments: Dear ADDitude: What If the Teacher Doesn't Follow the 504 Plan?

  1. Just remember. Having a 504 or SPED designation, doesn’t mean that your child gets an automatic PASS in class and can not fail….
    The teacher is required BY LAW to follow the accommodations. If he/she aren’t, they can be sued; However, they are NOT supposed to “dumb down” any instruction. Their exams should have 70% of the questions that (every student) should be able to answer correctly. The remaining 30% of questions are for the top grade earners. Bottom line is that teachers are not supposed to go EASY on any child. Continue to challenge all children to be their BEST. Some will go to college. Some have no business ever going to college. (But will still do well in society.
    Hopefully the accommodations will help them throughout secondary school…. bit the teachers are trying to prepare them for adulthood… there are NO accommodations by
    Employers. The child needs to learn to do work on time or they will never get/keep a job. They will be in your home FOREVER….

  2. This is in response to Penny’s response to this parent:
    That is a very irresponsible comment to make Penny. Saying that 99% of teachers refuse to even be open to seeing the distinction is very inflammatory. These are the kinds of things that pit parents against educators, and we all know that given the impact and complexity of ADHD, parents and educators need to work very closely together for the benefit of the child. I am 100% sure you have no evidence to back up that 99% statistic.
    The straightforward response to that parent is that the teacher is noncompliant with the 504 plan. A calm and open conversation with the teacher should always be the first step. Point out the accommodations in the plan and talk them over. IF that does not yield anything, the school administrator and/or 504 coordinator should be contacted. They should and will advocate for implementation of the plan as written. If administration does not seem to understand or support the importance of 504 plan implementation, then as one reader pointed out, a contact with OCR is a reasonable course of action. OCR contacting a district can go a long way towards educating the district on the importance of compliance.
    We should all keep in mind that teachers are people too, complete with emotions and breaking points, and the need for continuing education on all sorts of topics including ADHD and 504. Teaching is a very tough job at the present time in our society. Lets show some respect and work with them. We are more likely to get the best from these human beings if we are supportive. We are also less likely to trigger defensiveness, which when triggered really works against everyone.

  3. Ugh. This teacher’s actions are illegal and horrifying. A person who does not accept disabilities as legitimate should not be allowed to teach. As a person with ADD who was diagnosed as an adult, I came across many teachers (and now coworkers) with attitudes like this, so this is personally hurtful for me to hear. I always assumed that if I had an IEP I would have been treated differently, but clearly this is not the case.

    It seems like you are one of your son’s only advocates, so keep fighting!!!

    Also, like others mentioned, this calls for better teacher training about how invisible disabilities affect kids in the classroom, and the harmful effects that can be caused by trying to implement typical behavioral strategies.

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