Youth in foster care are at greater risk of school suspension and expulsion than their peers. Excessive school discipline can also result in unexpected changes in foster home placements for foster youth, compounding an already keen sense of isolation and alienation. East Bay Children’s Law Office’s Education Advocacy Program provides direct legal representation for Alameda County foster youth in school expulsion and suspension proceedings with the goal of protecting school stability and strengthening school engagement.
School Discipline for Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities, including students with active IEPs or 504 plans, typically cannot be kept out of school for more than 10 days in a school year for disciplinary reasons if the underlying behavior was either directly and substantially related to the student’s disability or was the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the student’s IEP or 504 plan. These determinations are made at manifestation determination meetings. Attorneys for foster youth must be notified by the school of any manifestation determination meeting held for an act for which the school has the discretion to expel the student.
EBCLO’s School Discipline Toolkit
This document is a tool for understanding school discipline for foster and probation youth.