Students With Special Needs

There are a number of rules and procedures that must be followed when dealing with students in special education who receive instruction through their individualized education plan (IEP). These students in special education are protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which is legislation that presides over the special education process for students until they reach the legal age of twenty-one. These laws that ensure that special education students receive a quality, free education but they can complicate the discipline process for school administrators.

A normal school day in March 2008 changed drastically for a variety of stakeholders in the Sigourney Community School District. It was near the end of my first year in Sigourney as a special education teacher in Sigourney. I happened to be in the principal's office discussing special education student scheduling options for the upcoming 2008-2009 school year when our city police chief and county chief deputy, accompanied by area state patrol officers all entered our school office. They were their for a unannounced school safety check. During this check officers from the city, county, and state police departments first went from one car to the next checking vehicles for alcohol, drugs, and weapons. After their walk through the school parking lot the officers made their way into the school where they conducted locker searchers from various According to our building principal, Jeff Kirby (2010) , this was the beginning to his “worst day ever as an administrator”.

According to Superintendent of schools Todd Abrahamson (2010), at the end of the day's school safety check, officers wrote citations to seven different students of the Sigourney C...

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...olid evidence that the laws that ensure special education students receive a quality, free education can be followed and positive outcomes can result.


Abrahamson, Todd. (2010, March 22). Superintendent of Sigourney CSD. Personal Interview.

Alexander, D. & Alexander, K. (2009). The Law of Schools, Students and Teachers in a Nut Shell. Rochester, New York. West Publishing.

IDEA Parent Guide. (2006). National Center for Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from:, March 22, 2010.

Kirby, Jeff. (2010, March 19). Sigourney CSD High School Principal Personal Interview.

Walters, Bill. (2010, March 22). Great Prairie AEA Special Education Director.

Telephone Interview.

Osborn, Deb. (2010, March 18). Sigourney CSD Special Education Instructor.

Personal Interview.
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