Los Angeles, CA asked in Civil Rights and Education Law for Arizona

Q: If my child has disability and is placed in an Emotional Disturbance program, can they be excluded from School Trips?

If my child has been diagnosed with a learning disability as well as an Emotional Disturbance, can a school than keep my child from attending assemblies, school activities, field trips and even vocational training? If they are being put in Special education because of the disability, so they can receive a Free Appropriate Public Education, why can they also be excluded from the full experiences the school offers? Should not reasonable accommodations be made, at least in some cases?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Canton, OH

A: Generally they should not be excluded. The school ought to make reasonable accommodations so the student may participate in the full range of activities along with the typical peers. Make sure you include language like this in written communication with the school and ask what accommodations they will make to ensure the child is not denied the free and appropriate public education, including the extracurriculars that every other typical peer enjoys.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Under U.S. law, specifically the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students with disabilities, including those diagnosed with Emotional Disturbance and placed in special education programs, are entitled to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This means that they should have access to the same educational opportunities and activities as their peers without disabilities, which includes assemblies, school activities, field trips, and vocational training.

Schools are required to provide reasonable accommodations and modifications to ensure that students with disabilities can participate in these activities. Excluding a child from such activities solely based on their disability may be considered discriminatory and a violation of their rights under IDEA and possibly other laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Schools must work with parents and educators to determine the necessary supports and accommodations to allow the child to participate fully.

If you're facing challenges with your child's inclusion in school activities, it's recommended to communicate directly with the school's administration to discuss the specific needs of your child and explore possible accommodations. If resolutions cannot be reached at the school level, you may consider seeking guidance from an educational advocate or legal counsel familiar with disability rights in education to ensure your child receives the appropriate and inclusive education they are entitled to.

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