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Disabled Student’s Behavior and School Regulations Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Aug 14th, 2020

Causes of Sparticus Shanker’s behavior and its relationship to his disability

Sparticus Shanker is eligible for special education because he has ODD and ADHD. It is possible to say that his behavior, i.e., exchange of the prescribed medication and marijuana for the X-box, is influenced by his disorder to a large extent.

ODD is a form of disruptive behavior disorders. The behavior of people with this condition is commonly associated with the consequences that “violate the rights of others and/or that bring the individual into significant conflict with societal norms or authority figures” (Boat & Wu, 2015, para. 1). The major ODD symptoms are frequent anger and irritable mood, difficulties in controlling their temper, defiant behavior, disobedience, and so on (Riley, Ahmed, & Locke, 2016). The study findings indicate that children with the disorder experience “greater school failure and more suspensions and expulsions” (Boat & Wu, 2015, para. 4). The inability to comply with the commonly accepted behavioral norms impedes the success of diagnosed individuals. Moreover, it is observed that with the increasing age, those people are prone to be in greater conflict with the legal system (Boat & Wu, 2015). The event with the drug exchange in school may be considered as a premise to greater social and legal infractions.

As it is mentioned in the group update review, the student’s impairment was unmedicated and untreated. Based on this, the symptoms of ODD can be marked in the boy’s behavior. The research evidence provided in the previous paragraph suggests that Sparticus’s attempts to sell drugs may be provoked by the morbid psychological impetuses. His actions may be regarded as the active refusal to comply with the social norms and the school’s authority. In this way, we may say that the student’s behavior has direct and substantial relationships with his disorder.

It is possible to assume that Sparticus Shanker’s behavior is not a direct result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP. The IEP team had conducted a functional behavioral assessment and designed the educational and behavioral intervention plan for the student. Since the primary goal of the developed program was the increase in the student’s compliance with school expectations, it can be regarded as an effective preventive measure. However, the boy’s conduct may signal that some alterations to the plan are needed. As stated in 20 U.S. Code, Chapter 33, Subchapter II, para. 1415 (D) (ii), if the behavior of a student with a disability violates school regulations and is considered the manifestation of the disease, the IEP Team should “review the behavioral intervention plan if the child already has such a behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior” (p. 691). In case, the IEP is efficiently administered, there would be a chance for the student to cease the challenging and risk-taking behaviors. Overall, at the current point, it is wrong to say that the absence of the IEP resulted in such behavior – Sparticus would act similarly with or without the program because his motivations are largely defined by the disorder.

Sparticus Shanker’s behavior as the result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP

Violations of school regulations may lead to student’s dismissal from a current schooling facility and imposition of severe penalties. This is done for the sake of other students’ safety. The rules related to the placement of students with disabilities to interim alternative settings are provided by the IDEA, 34 CFR para. 300.519-300.529. According to the regulatory provisions, the change of placement is a valid result of the cases involving weapons, drugs, and controlled substances because they increase the risks of injuries and provoke a serious threat to safety.

Since Sparticus is suspected in drug distribution and substance use, the school personnel may place him in an interim alternative setting at the same terms as for any student without a disability. The justification for the placement will be as follows: the student “knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or local educational agency” (USC 1415 (G) (ii), p. 691).

Every student has a right to a safe school environment conducive to learning. Moreover, as provided by the zero-tolerance policy adopted in the US public schools, every offense, however minor, is punishable equally severe. The given idea served as the foundation for the establishment of interim alternative educational settings. In the given context, Sparticus Shanker’s behavior certainly puts the health and learning process of others at risk of disruption. The student’s placement to an interim alternative setting allows finding a balance between his right for appropriate education and the rights of other students to safety. The important condition for the removal of students with disabilities from their current settings is that the placement of an alternative setting should not be more than forty-five calendar days. It means that the school personnel may remove Sparticus for a shorter period unless it does not exceed the suggested time frame.


Boat, T. F., & Wu, J. T. (2015). Mental disorders and disabilities among low-income children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Riley, M., Ahmed, S., & Locke, A. (2016). Common questions about oppositional defiant disorder. American Family Physician, 93(7), 586-591.

U.S. Code, Title 20 – Education, Chapter 33 – Education of Individuals with Disabilities.

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