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What happens if the school suspends my child who has a disability

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

Your child has the right to make up assignments, tests, papers and other work while suspended or expelled.

If your child is suspended or expelled for more than 10 days the school should offer educational services, like:

  • tutoring,
  • remote learning, or
  • an alternative school.

Students with disabilities should get IEP services while out of school for more than 10 days.

If the school does not offer these services, see BSEA or Problem Resolution System.

What if my child’s behavior involved drugs, weapons, or serious bodily harm? What is an Interim Alternative Educational Setting?

The school district can keep your child out of school in an “Interim Alternative Educational Setting” for up to 45 school days if your child:

  • Knowingly has, uses, or sells illegal drugs on school grounds or at a school function;
  • Brings or has a weapon on school grounds or at a school function; or
  • Seriously physically hurts another person while on school grounds or at a school function.

Even if the bad behavior was because off your child’s disability, if it involved drugs, weapons, or serious physical harm the school can keep your child out of their regular school for up to 45 days.

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