On July 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released new guidances designed to clarify the use of disciplinary practices in schools. The guidances clarify that students with disabilities have legal rights and protections in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The guidances issued include, but are not limited to:
- Section 504 legal requirements apply to contractors including school resource offices / police
- Terminating the use of seclusion and restraint, which are not evidenced-based practices
- What is considered an informal removal or shortened school day
You can find more information in the following resources:
- Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and an accompanying Fact Sheet.
- Questions and Answers Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA's) Discipline Provisions.
- Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting the Needs of Children with Disabilities: A Guide for Stakeholders. And,
- A letter from Secretary Cardona to our nation's educators, school leaders, parents, and students about the importance of supporting the needs of students with disabilities.