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Suspension Issues for Students with Exceptional Needs

A student with exceptional needs, or who is eligible for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, may be suspended for up to ten days in a row, or up to 20 days total in any one school year.

An individualized education program team, or an instructional study team, is convened when a student's cumulative days of suspension in a school year approaches ten school days. The team evaluates whether:

  • The suspensions constitute a pattern.
  • The student's disability caused the misconduct.
  • The student's educational placement is appropriate.

A student may be suspended for up to, but not more than, ten consecutive school days if he or she poses an immediate threat to the safety of himself/herself or others.

In a case where a student is considered truly dangerous, a suspension may exceed the ten days if ordered by the court, or if the student's parent/guardian agrees.

Students may not be suspended for more than ten days in a school year if the suspensions constitute a pattern in regards to the length of each suspension, the proximity of the suspensions to one another, and/or the total amount of time a student is removed.