You and your children have extensive rights when it comes to your child’s education. This is especially true if your child has special needs. That’s why existing state and federal laws seek to hold schools accountable when it comes to providing a proper education to these students.
As comforting as that may seem, the sad reality is that schools violate these rights all the time. It’s up to parents like you in these circumstances to find accountability and fight to ensure that your child receives a proper education in light of the law, which includes ensuring compliance with an individualized education plan.
IEPs and the least restrictive environment
Your child’s individualized education plan (IEP) should be designed to meet the specific needs of your child. Although these plans are custom tailored, there are certain aspects of an IEP that should be standard regardless of the circumstances.
One of those standards is that your child will be educated in the least restrictive environment possible. This means that he or she shouldn’t be isolated and instead should be provided educational services that are as close to the normal classroom environment as possible. Before your child’s school can move him or her to a special classroom separate from the general education setting, it must show that your child can’t succeed in that general education environment. Your child may require support in the general educational setting, but that’s okay and should be expected of your child’s school.
Know the law to protect your child
The least restrictive environment analysis is different in each case, and the least restrictive environment can look different for each student. Keep in mind, though, that this piece of your child’s IEP is just a small fraction of the law pertaining to your child’s educational rights. If you want to ensure that your child is receiving a fair and appropriate education and is being supported properly given his or her condition, then we encourage you to continue to read up on this area of the law and consider reaching out for any support that you may need.