School Discipline

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Each school system has discipline procedures to ensure the safety of staff and students and
promote an environment for learning. School systems develop their own Code of Conduct policies
and rules which all students, including those with disabilities, are expected to follow. You should be
given a copy of the student handbook which includes a copy of the Code of Conduct at the start of
the school year. It is important to know what rules are included in this handbook. However, there are
special considerations when a student with an IEP has discipline issues or violates the code of conduct

Discipline for Special Education Students.

Regulations under IDEA protect special education students from being punished for behaviors that are related to their disabilities. This does not mean special education students are exempt from all discipline.

Read the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education Q&A on Discipline Procedures.

Questions and Answers on School Discipline-

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBI) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) involves gathering information in order to determine the cause or function of a behavior. A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) includes positive interventions, strategies and supports to address the target behavior. It is created by a team of school staff and the parents. The BIP is used to teach or encourage new behavior. A BIP should address the problem behaviors identified in the FBA


For children and youth to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel safe and be safe — socially, emotionally, and physically. Find out more about bullying from these resources. is a “one stop” site with information the federal government has prepared to help prevent and address bullying in communities.

The National Center for Bullying Prevention has resources, videos, and information for schools, parents, kids and teens.


Bullying among Children and Youth with Disabilities from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Restraint and Seclusion

Read the US DOE Guidance Document concerning the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools.

For more information on School Discipline please contact Pathfinder Parent Center: