Discipline Problems Related to IDEA 1997 for Special Education Students During 1999-2000
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1. What staff development and training occurred since IDEA 1997 and what would be recommended in the future in a selected Virginia school district regarding the discipline problems of students with disabilities.
2. How had one Virginia school district responded, implemented and resolved disciplinary problems (including barriers) as related to IDEA 1997 for specific students with disabilities who were in need of disciplinary measures during the 1999-2000 school year?
The seven selected students with disabilities were chosen based on their disciplinary actions as related to five interview guide questions that focused on some new IDEA 1997 disciplinary regulations. Sources came from a review of formal and informal records, interviews, observations, and follow-up based on data analysis.
These questions dealt with the disciplinary issues involving:
1. Multiple short-term removals.
2. Change of placements.
3. Interim alternative settings.
4. Removal for more than ten days.
5. Disciplinary change of placement.
6. Discipline whereas a functional assessment and behavioral implementation plans, strategies and supports were reviewed for students with disabilities in need of disciplinary action.
Themes, patterns and recommendations were given at the school district and at the state level. Recommendations for further study were made. Within this school district, three surfaced themes as part of lessons learned were noted. These themes were a) the revolving door of homebound placement, b) monitor and compliance issues, and c) documentation concerns for students with disabilities as mandated by IDEA 1997.
Ten patterns were noted as related to the seven students with disabilities due to their disciplinary actions. All seven students with disabilities had a long history of special education placements, attendance problems and were recommended for counseling. Six of these student's parents were minimally involved with their child's progress. Six of these students were drug involved. Positive interventions, strategies and supports were utilized for five of these students when receiving disciplinary consequences. Five of these students with disabilities had other difficult family issues. Four of these students with disabilities were court involved while one student was involved with the community services board. Three students had work experiences and three students had low to average intelligence. Other noteworthy considerations involving climate and culture, money and safety were discussed.
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