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IEP Issues - Suspension/Expulsion/Discipline and Problem Solving

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MI Beyond Suspension or Expulsion, ‘Restorative Practices’ is More Thoughtful Discipline - Bill Sower is president of the Ann Arbor-based Christopher & Virginia Sower Center for Successful Schools, a for-profit licensee of the non-profit International Institute for Restorative Practices. Beginning August 1, a package of new state laws will change the landscape of student disciplinary action in Michigan. Depending on how these laws are implemented in schools, they may either improve or damage the learning climate. The laws require schools to consider certain circumstances like a student’s age and disciplinary history before issuing suspensions or expulsions. In addition, the laws require schools to consider an approach called “restorative practices” (RP) as a disciplinary alternative for serious offenses, and they encourage schools to consider RP for lesser offenses, including bullying. While some school administrators will interpret the word “consider” as just a brief, passing thought – opening themselves to challenges from parents and advocacy groups to show evidence of good faith in their considerations – others will want to embrace the opportunity to improve their school’s culture and climate with a solid implementation of RP.


MI Michigan Seclusion and Restraint Standards (PDF)


MI Michigan State Board of Education Adopts Guidelines On Seclusion/Restraint Use - After nearly two years of study, public comments and four drafts, and further fine-tuning of the policies today, the State Board of Education unanimously adopted state standards to guide schools in the emergency use of seclusion and restraint of students.


CT Cracking Down On Cussing - There will be no more f-words, b-words or s-words spoken, yelled or hissed in classes at Hartford Public or Bulkeley high schools. Not for free, anyway.


Disabled Students Law Questioned - Special education advocates are worried that recent changes in a federal act designed to guarantee students with disabilities access to school will instead make it easier for schools to kick those kids out through expulsion and suspension.


Lessons in Self-control - A first-grader attacked the teacher with scissors. Another flung a chair across the classroom. Several students kicked, cursed, and punched their way into such a frenzy that teachers had to hold them down. The usual punishments -- trips to the principal's office, parent meetings, and, finally, suspending them from school -- were not working. This year, Lowell teachers took action: They took seven of the school system's most disruptive children, who were also some of its youngest, and put them in a separate classroom where the pupils are taught how to behave.


FL Records: Cops Used Tasers Against 24 students Since '03 - Officers too eager to use stun guns, critics say. At least 24 Central Florida students have been zapped by Tasers in the past 18 months as police officers working at public schools turned the controversial stun guns on children as young as 12. "Simply, we meet force with force," said Lt. David Ogden, who heads the training division of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.


MI Children in Crisis: Mental Health - In this three-part series, the Detroit Free Press examines how children with bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses succeed or fail in getting mental health services. Through the eyes of children who are in treatment, locked up, or on the brink, we explore what it takes to get services, what's available and the impact on families when a child needs mental health care.


Indiana Youth Services Association Series on Discipline Methods (PDF) - A series of clear and concise research summaries by Russ Skiba and colleagues that answer the following questions: 1. Does the literature support the need for and effectiveness of zero tolerance suspensions and expulsions? (briefing paper 1: Zero Tolerance: The Assumptions and the Facts); 2. What is the status of suspension and expulsion in Indiana? (briefing paper 2: Unplanned Outcomes); 3. Are there alternatives that can maintain safe and productive school climates while preserving students' opportunity to learn? (briefing paper 3: Discipline is Always Teaching).


MA 'Serious Risks' Cited at School For Teens - In the past year, the state has launched investigations into nine incidents at the DeSisto School, a $66,000-a-year facility for teens with behavioral, drug, and mental health problems. But state concerns reached new heights recently when a staffer waited more than 90 minutes to take a student to the hospital after she purposely cut herself and swallowed two razor blades.

OH Black Students Disciplined More - Black students are still more likely than white students to be disciplined at school--three decades after American education documented the disparity. Three-fourths of 40 Southwest Ohio school districts disciplined African-Americans at higher rates than whites last year, an Enquirer analysis of school discipline data shows. In more than half of schools, blacks were twice as likely to be suspended and sent home for at least one day.


MS Mississippi Educator Resigns After Refusing to Paddle Student - The debate over whether corporal punishment has a place in American education became very personal for Ralph McLaney when the principal of Carver Middle School ordered him to paddle on a sixth grade student who’d acted up in class.


Tips to Ensuring a Successful Positive Behavior Plan (from the Autism Society of America's ASA Net, July 15, 2003) - IDEA requires a child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team pay special attention to a child's behavior if it gets in the way of his or her education or the education of others.


Discipline Under Section 504 and the ADA (PDF; 21 pages) by Perry A. Zirkel, Ph.D., J.D., LL.M - A website created by parents raising challenging kids, all of them oppositional and resistant to parenting.  The onsite description: "We use many different methods and treatment plans with a variety of results. We have found that there isn't a "magic bullet" but we are always looking and supporting each other along this journey. We are parents who are committed to helping our children grow and flourish and survive their childhood. It is our goal for our website to be a "soft place to land for the battle-weary parent." You will be amazed at the number of suggestions offered and the amount of support given. We even manage to have a few laughs along the way! My advice is to take what you need, offer what you can, and leave the rest."


Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. - For more than 20 years, the Crisis Prevention Institute has supported the work of professionals who work with challenging or potentially violent individuals by providing a relevant, practical behavior management program. It’s called the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program and more than 4.5 million professionals have participated in this program to learn how to resolve conflict at the earliest possible stage.


MYC Academy

Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy
Attn: Admissions & Graduate Affairs Office
5500 Armstrong Drive, Bldg. 13
Battle Creek, MI 49016-1099


The MYC Academy is a 17.5-month, three phase program. Cadets start with a two week Pre-Challenge phase at Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan. Then, for 20 weeks they live, work, and study on-site with other 16-18 year old cadets.  In that 20 weeks, they will receive 400 hours of classroom instruction to prepare them for the G.E.D. exam. After completion of the 22-week resident phases, cadets graduate and continue their personal growth with an adult mentor, who will provide each graduate with assistance for the next 12 months in their own community.  There is NO COST to the cadet or his/her family for participation in this program. There is NO MILITARY OBLIGATION for participation.   Read an article about the Challenge Program: MI Challenge Program Spared in Budget - The Challenge Program is Michigan's voluntary boot-camp style program for dropouts and at-risk youth.


GAO Report on Special Education: Clearer Guidance Would Enhance Implementation of Federal Disciplinary Provisions - In the 2000-01 school year, more than 91,000 special education students were removed from their educational settings for disciplinary reasons. The GAO (General Accounting Office) was asked to determine where disciplined special education students are placed, the extent to which local school districts continue educational services for those students, and how the U.S. Department of Education provides support and oversight for special education disciplinary placements.  Highlights of the GAO report are available at  The full report is available at (both documents are in PDF format)


MA Student Suspensions Leap in State - With educators pressured to take a harder line with unruly students, the number of young people kicked out of Massachusetts public schools for disciplinary problems has soared to its highest point in six years, preliminary state figures show.


Modifying Inappropriate Behaviors Part 1: Why is my child acting like this?

Modifying Inappropriate Behaviors Part 2: Consistency is Key


NC Court to Mull Right to a Lawyer In Discipline Cases - The allegation against the 15-year-old boy was sexual harassment, the proposed punishment a suspension that would consume more than half a school semester.


PA Kindergartners Becoming More Frequent Targets of Suspension - The U.S. Department of Education does not break down school suspensions by grade level, but several researchers said they see anecdotal evidence that the youngest schoolchildren are being suspended more frequently. Kindergartners becoming more frequent targets of suspensions, researchers say.


Are Time-Out Rooms Inhumane? - SPEAK OUT: Plan would limit schools' use of 'time-out' rooms.


Zero Sense: A dangerous trend - Maybe you missed the latest "zero tolerance" horror story. It seems that seven fourth-grade boys were suspended from school for pointing their fingers like guns during a game of "army-and-aliens" on the playground.


Interpretations of 'Zero Tolerance' Vary - What the term "zero tolerance" means, and how much latitude local school leaders have in deciding when and how to apply it is commonplace in school districts across the country.

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