Special Education/Manhandling of student


My 9 yr old has an iep for spld and ADHD. He's usually well behaved but sometimes
Refuses to do demanding work.  I don't know what happened at school. I just know he didn't
Want to get on the bus. No one called me. They forced him on the bus and he came
Home hysterical saying he will never get on the bus again. We made an agreement he'd take
The morning bus and I'd pick him up. I'm trying to diffuse this. I left an angry message
For the principal and am waiting for a return call. The teacher who called me said he
Was not aggressive until he was "escorted" to the bus rather he wouldn't leave his seat.
I know the problem needs to be addressed but this to me seems utterly wrong.
The weird thing is they once told me they're not Allowed to touch students when my
Son didn't want to go to art. For some reason doesn't like that one class.  He had
Some issue with the aide at the end of the day. It's still unclear. I never speak to her but
From all I've seen she's bossy and controlling. I've told her in brief dialogue that
She should be positive not negative.  It's a bad synergy there. I don't think forcing a 9 year
Old on the bus is a solution and he's totally freaked out by it. It must have been
Very embarrassing too. What can I do?

Typically the process of a student who refuses to get on the bus is to first, call the parent, then encourage, (escort), then call Child Protective Services, as it is possible that 30 minutes after the bus runs there is no one to supervise the child at school.  I don't think forcing him on the bus is appropriate, but then I don't know from your description what they actually did to "force" him on the bus.  Physical restraint should not be used unless the staff are trained and it is a part of his IEP or Behavior Plan.  

I would suggest that you continue to work on getting a opportunity to discuss this with the Principal.  You will get the school's view and a better picture of what actually happened, both on their side and your child's side.  Regardless of whether the Principal responds to your requests I would suggest you ask your child's special education teacher to convene the IEP team so that you can discuss the bus situation, decide whether or not a bus behavior plan is needed and to add transportation as a related service to the IEP.  I don't know if the bus is special transportation or if it is a general run with non disabled students.  If it is a special ed bus, then you want it included in the IEP as a related service.  That makes it a violation of his Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) if the school can't transport him to and from school.  If it is a general education run, then they can refuse to transport which puts the weight back on you.  

As you probably know, an ADHD child needs a teacher who is consistent, warm, matter of fact, and reflects concern, they need to earn the trust of your child more than anything else.  Some of those things might be proper to put in the IEP...perhaps if there are more episodes like this in school that they have not shared with you, you would then want them to do a Behavior analysis and a behavior improvement plan as a part of his IEP.  

I would try the team (IEP) thing first before I began demanding a different teacher.  If this doesn't work don't hesitate to follow up

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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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