Disciplinary Hearings and Suspensions

Disciplinary Hearing Attorneys

Representing Clients in New York & Nationwide

One of the most difficult and frustrating experiences for any parent can be dealing with disciplinary procedures at school. For parents of children with disabilities, especially those whose disabilities sometimes lead to the disciplinary issues, the experience can be even more complicated and difficult. As a disabilities education law firm, Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP understands both parents’ frustrations and educators’ concerns and can be crucial in achieving a resolution that meets the needs of the child as well as the school.

Disabilities and Disciplinary Problems

Many disabilities that affect students’ ability to learn may also interfere with social interactions, sometimes leading to behaviors that teachers or administrators consider disruptive, harmful to the classroom environment, or otherwise troublesome. While the majority of educators understand that each student confronts his or her unique issues and can make allowances for students with social difficulties, teachers and administrators also have a responsibility to maintain a safe and appropriate learning environment for other students. When a student has a disability, (such as autism or emotional disturbance) that can lead to problematic behaviors, it frequently becomes a disciplinary issue at some point.

When discipline becomes a problem for your child, it is often your parental responsibility to act as an advocate for your child. You may feel that your child is being treated too harshly or that the problem behaviors may be caused by some aspect of the classroom environment that is not meeting your child’s needs. In these cases, the special education attorneys of Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP have the experience necessary to help you reach an appropriate solution with the school. This may involve attending meetings with teachers and administrators, district officials, disciplinary hearings, due process hearings, or mediation.

Solutions Instead of Suspensions

When children with disabilities are misunderstood by teachers and administrators, harsh punishments may be given when a parent or advocate cannot speak on the child’s behalf. As a result, your child may be suspended or deprived of privileges, making matters worse and not addressing the root cause of the problem. In addition, suspension deprives your child unfairly of learning opportunities simply because his or her behavior is not properly handled or understood.

The IDEA mandates special and complex rules involving discipline of students with disabilities, including rules requiring schools to conduct Functional Behavioral Assessments, develop Behavioral Intervention Plans and to ensure appropriate services to students during suspensions.

Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP will help you negotiate with school officials to address the real cause of problem behavior, and if necessary will help you initiate a hearing if an agreement cannot be reached.

At Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP, our goal is to help you ensure that your child is educated in a safe, fair, and reasonable environment. We understand your concerns as a parent as well as the need for schools to maintain order and fairness, which enables us to help achieve real and lasting solutions instead of punishments and suspensions.

If you have a child with a disability that is encountering disciplinary problems at school, please contact Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP for a free consultation to find out how we can help you resolve these issues.