The 10-Day Rule: Disciplining Special Needs Students for Bus ...

The 10-Day Rule: Disciplining Special Needs Students for Bus ...

When the Bus Stands Still: Where Do Your Legal Duties Stand? By Peggy A. Burns, Esq. Education Compliance Group, Inc. P.O. Box 221 Lafayette, CO 80026 (303) 604-6141 www.educationcompliancegroup.com Copyright 2011. Education Compliance Group, Inc. All rights reserved. On the way to and from the stop: What is your duty? Custody and control Remind parents of their role: . . .There are situations that require your assistance and participation to ensure your students safety Duty to transport to a place of safety

Safety factors include age, experience, ability of student No duty to ensure student remains in a safe place Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 2 Designating bus stops Know industry standards One size fits all systems may not work in the case of students with special needs Example: OCR finds parents of students w/ disabilities forced to accept TN districts hub system of pick-up; no consideration of individual student needs

Without evidence of disability-related need for special stop, district does not have to provide home pick-up for student w/ disability Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 3 Designating bus stops, contd. Creation of dangerous condition? If district creates a known, dangerous condition which might not be readily apparent, and has knowledge of the presence of people likely to be injured, district has duty to fix danger, or, at a minimum, to warn of danger

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 4 Students with special needs Relationship of FAPE to ability to get to/ from the bus stop IEP team considerations Travel training? Attendant?

Different route, vehicle? Different stop? What is effect on attendance? Effective communication w/ parents Participate in evaluation of concerns Education Compliance Group, Inc.

www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 5 Driver responsibility for rules What if driver lets student off at unsafe place? Implications for removal from bus as a disciplinary tool What if injury occurs while the student is crossing to designated stop, but the driver following the rules refused when student requested driver turn around and drop him on opposite side of highway near his house? Routing that requires that students transfer buses are very dependent upon drivers following rules during

transfer process. Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 6 Unauthorized stops Consider zero tolerance; theres too much risk here to all concerned. May go far beyond students & parents just having sense of entitlement. Theres a risk in authorizing unauthorized stops. Courts are substantially uniform in upholding districts termination of driver on this basis. Education Compliance Group, Inc.

www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 7 Supervision before and after the student is on the bus What factors would warrant closer supervision? What commitments have you made? What facts do you know? How far should the driver go to protect a student from possible harm? Was the childs behavior foreseeable? Were precautions beyond the norm warranted, and reasonable to provide? Education Compliance Group, Inc.

www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141 8 Education Compliance Group, Inc. PO Box 221 Lafayette, CO 80026 303.604.6141 www.educationcompliancegroup.com

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