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Trouble at school- Discipline

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Justice Center of Southeastern Massachusetts
Created February, 2022

All students have rights and protections to make sure school discipline is fair.

Students with disabilities have extra rights and protections to make sure they are not punished because of:

  • behaviors their disability cause, or
  • behaviors related to their disability.

If you think your child's disability is the reason they are getting into trouble:

  • Ask for a Team Meeting.
  • Ask the school to do a “Functional Behavioral Assessment” (“FBA”). 

An FBA is an evaluation that looks at a student’s behavior. This helps the Team understand why the behavior is happening and think about how to help. The written result of the FBA:

  • Explains the reason for the student’s behavior. Example: a student may act out because they are looking for attention.
  • Explains what usually happens just before the behavior, and what happens right after the behavior.

The school uses the results of the FBA to write a Behavior Intervention Plan (“BIP”). This plan tells teachers what to do to prevent your child’s behaviors and to keep the behaviors from getting worse.

See My child is struggling at school.

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