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Can a public school system exclude a child from field trips and class parties, b/c of issues related to a documented disability?

Boston, MA |

My son is 6 years old and in first grade in the Boston Public Schools. At the beginning of the school year, he was diagnosed with ADHD for which he takes medication (that has helped a lot. There is a 504 plan on file with the school. In addition, he was tested academically and found to be in line with his peers and remained in his classroom. We have had an IEP meeting. However, it has come to my attention that my son has been excluded from every class party, field trip, and social event that has occurred all year. The school has not informed me of these events (no permission slips were ever sent home) and I was never given any explanation as to why he could not attend. I called the school and was told that he is a "safety concern" and is excluded for his own well-being.

Attorney Answers 4


It certainly isn't unless there is something else going on behaviorally. I would speak with an attorney immediately.

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No. The behavior you describe is probably illegal. That said it would be difficult to guarantee the illegality without knowing more about what the IEP says.

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The short answer is that the school district has to make accommodations for his disability so that he can participate in daily life at school. The district would have to show that the accommodation is unduly burdensome and/or dangerous to your child or others. I suspect their actions are for their convenience and not due to a well thought out plan. You should consider contacting the Office of Civil Rights in the US Dep't. of Education. They have an office in Boston.

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The actions the school are taken seem highly questionable. You should contact a special education attorney. Often, schools take short cuts when dealing with kids with special needs, ones made for their own convenience and not in the best interest of the child or in line with the law. Find someone with experience who will be in your son's corner. Having an advocate can make an extreme difference in how well schools comply with their responsibilities under the law.

You can search for an education attorney on Avvo.

Good luck.

This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney in your area for a one-on-one consultation before pursuing any action or making any decisions.

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