Tag Archives: school violence

IEPs Are Not a License for Violent Behavior at School

by Kerry Dougherty

It may be time to rethink the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was signed into law in 1990 by then-President George H. W. Bush.

If the late president had known that some school officials would use a wrinkle in this law to keep psychopaths in the classroom I wonder if he would have signed it.

IDEA entitled students to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. It meant kids with physical, mental and emotional disabilities could get individualized learning plans and ideally have an education tailored to their needs.

It’s a well-intended piece of legislation built on several earlier laws that also attempted to give those with disabilities the same opportunities as other children for a free public education. It appears that IDEA may have been expanded to mean that a child with an IEP has a license to be disruptive and even violent while teachers are powerless to get them out of class. If that’s the case, well, it’s time to narrow the law.

Or scrap it. Continue reading