New Guidance Helps Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Disparities In the Use of Discipline

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2022) — The U.S. Department of Education announced the release of new guidance from its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to help public elementary and secondary schools fulfill their responsibilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline. These newly released resources are the most comprehensive guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities concerning student discipline and build on the Department’s continued efforts to support students and schools through pandemic recovery.

The new resources include:

  • OSEP Dear Colleague Letter on Implementation of IDEA Discipline Provisions.
  • Questions and Answers Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA’s Discipline Provisions.
  • Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting the Needs of Children with Disabilities: A Guide for Stakeholders.

The guidance makes clear that schools do not need to choose between complying with Section 504 and IDEA and keeping their school community—including students and staff—safe.

All these documents can be found on the Department’s School Climate and Student Discipline Resources website.

Suspension, Severe Discrepancy
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Last modified on November 28, 2022