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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What does discipline look like in your school?

What does discipline look like in your school?

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I had an interesting problem today. According to my school's discipline code I can have a disruptive student removed from my class for one period. Today, for the first time all year, I asked to have a student removed and was told that he could not be removed because "he's been removed up to the limit already." Apparently, after four removals the student can only be suspended and, in the case of special education students, that can only be done after an investigation as to whether the behavior involved is or isn't part of the student's disability. The students I teach are all either LD or S&LD; this year I don't even have one ED student and none of the students have behavior mods in the IEPs. Despite that, there has to be a hearing in order to suspend the boy I wanted removed today despite his throwing books around the room. What are the discipline policies in your school?

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Michelle's picture

If the student is an LD student, then the student follows the school rules just like every other student....up to 10 days of out of school suspension. Then, there is a meeting held. For an ED student, there needs to be a behavior plan. If the plan doesn't work, it needs to be modified. It sounds neat and simple, but it does have its flaws...Good luck!

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

This year I haven't need to remove a student. 2 years ago I called for assistance from the office it took the principal 15 minutes by that time Ihad cleared the other students. I called the mom she was there before the principal. My room was trashed, he cleaned it up and the parent decided to take him home. The principal told me that it was considered a suspension if I asked the parent to come and get him. Since I didn't ask her to take him it was not a suspension. We did a modification to his behavior plan. I only had to call the parent one other time. The student self-regulated and only had to be removed 2 other times one of those was an issue on the GE bus (we got SPED bussing after that incident.) Our principal does not feel that suspension is an alternative so we have a lot of students in GE on school behavior plans or behavior contracts.

nikki's picture

There should be more safeguards written into these IEP's to not only protect the student but also the teacher. The discipline strategies should be written specifically for each student by the child study team. The problem is most parents dont realize this. Also it is extremely important that the students disability is fully supported in the IEP (in my opinion they usually are not) and that all the needs of the student are met and all aspects of the disability are supported. This should fall on child study teams not teachers Who are given very little if any support.

Margaret Fernandez's picture

Students that we work with online often may have behavioral plans implemented in their classroom. We find that when we engage them in speech therapy sessions that behavioral problems simply disappear. A student may work for up to an hour with one of our therapists and not present any problems. This may be due to the fact that we are able to contain their hearing, focus their eyes on the screen and the live interactive materials, and engage the students in communication and skill sets that are new and exciting to them. Technology IS now, technology IS the future. http://www.OnlineSpeechTherapy.com

Ann Hyde's picture
Ann Hyde
Special Ed English teacher, Anchorage, Alaska

I haven't had to have a student removed this year, but in the past, I just call security if a kiddo refuses to go. Or I will walk with them to the security office. I ask so rarely that when I do, security really responds quickly. I generally request that the student not come back to class that period, but take the time to cool down. This sends a clear message to all the students that blowouts won't be tolerated. I have kids with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and all kinds of behavior plans. By and large, we don't have too many disruptions.

Ann Hyde's picture
Ann Hyde
Special Ed English teacher, Anchorage, Alaska

Wouldn't you know it? Right after I posted the comment above, I had a student who went ballistic on me. I sent him to Student Services and wrote a referral. Then I sent a follow-up email to our discipline principal. There was an IMMEDIATE phone call to ask what happened, and affirmation that this student does not have the right to yell at his teachers. I am very fortunate to have such support.

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Yes a Student's ability levels should be clearly defined and represented by the Goals in the IEP. It is important to address serious behaviorial issues which include appropriate support services. These issues should also be addressed in both the FBA/BIP that is typically conducted with a behavior specialist and/or the psychologist. I have had a psychologist in the past that when he came into assist with a student who was out of control he simply stood in the door way and watched the student tear up my room. When he told the student that he would have to clean up the student yelled obsenities. Ultimately, it was the TA and I who removed him from the room. When he came back in the classroom he apologized and helped us clean up. I think your key point was about additional support. I know that it is rare to have a behavior specialist at a school, but there should be a team of specialists and a process by which to get them to a student and/or teacher. We need to support students and it shouldn't matter about cost, but as you know we work in a program that is federally mandated but not fully funded. Training of those providing the support is essential for the safety of the student, staff and others.

Kris's picture

I can truly sympathize with teachers, although I am not one, I was heading a SPED Transportation department within a school system and we did not receive much support when a child's behavior created an unsafe situation. I was lucky enough that having it in house that way I could work with the drivers and monitors to cater to the children's needs but with the schools that use private companies, you get a general you get what you get, and they don't work with the studentsas much or in some cases at all. The worst situation I had was when I couldn't move a bus because a student refused to sit or buckle up (it was a bus full with 9 behavioral kids) and he was attacking me. after spending 15 minutes trying to calm him down we had to call the police to remove him. The police told us to call his parents which unfortunately he was a displaced student in a group home, and then the cop actually had the nerve to say he isn't in the habit of taking kids into custody... Um I didn't ask you to arrest him, just bring him to the school so we can bring the rest... I actually got in trouble over that happening, and I demanded through student services a protocol they felt acceptable for deeming when a child is unsafe for transport. In the end I wasn't happy with how the district operated at all and I left, but there has to become better communication between departments, and more support for the teachers and those that work with the children.

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