Can Section 504 students be disciplined?
Students covered by Section 504 are expected to conform to the same behavior standards as their non-disabled peers, unless explicitly outlined in their 504 Plan. They have, however, extra protections when facing serious discipline such as expulsion. Prior to expelling a student, the 504 Team should conduct an evaluation (manifestation determination) to determine if the incident was related to the student’s disability. If the 504 Team determines that the incident was not related to the disability, the school may discipline the student as they would any other student.
Decisions as to the level of intensity or restrictiveness that a child requires in order to be able to be appropriately educated is an individualized determination, in which the child should be educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate in order to meet their needs. It is neither the parent's absolute right to have the child educated in regular education nor is it the school districts prerogative to have the child automatically educated in special education.
School districts may only terminate special education services after a full evaluation and determination that the child no longer meets the criteria for special education. Their criteria require that the child have a disability that adversely affects school performance and which requires special education intervention.
Your questions relates to whether an IEP can be changed after the IEP meeting based on a teachers determination that it was completed incorrectly or needs to be changed. Under the IDEA 2004, an IEP may be changed based on an informal agreement between a member of the school staff and a parent. However, it can only be changed based on agreement with you, not based upon the unilateral decision of the school staff or the entire school staff for that matter. If the school and the parent wish to informally change the IEP, it is important for the parent to obtain a copy of the proposed change in advance and agree to the change in writing in order to assure that the proposed change is accurately recorded and carried out. On the other hand, if the parent does not agree to the proposed change, the school MAY NOT implement the proposed change without requesting a new IEP meeting. If the school district recommends a change at the new IEP meeting, the parent may request a due process hearing to object to the change.
In addition, the IDEA specifically indicates that schools should not rely on any one test when making a determination about a disability. Further, the IDEA 2004 amendments expressly indicated that in evaluating a child and developing an IEP for that child, the school should address the child's academic, developmental, and functional needs. This language would suggest that the matching of low performance with a low subtest score may not be an appropriate basis for excluding services.