Posts tagged with "CT special education law"

Conducting an Independent Evaluation

Independent Educational Evaluation 

You have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) conducted by a qualified (licensed and/or certified) examiner who is not employed by your school district. When the school district agrees to pay for the IEE, the criteria under which the IEE is obtained, including the location and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the school district would use when it does its own evaluation.

What if I disagree with an evaluation conducted by the school district?

If you disagree with an evaluation conducted by the school district, you have a right to an independent educational evaluation at the school’s expense, unless the school district can prove its evaluation is appropriate or the IEE does not meet the school district’s criteria. If the school believes its evaluation is appropriate, it must initiate a due process hearing or pay for the IEE. If the school district initiates a due process hearing, a hearing officer will decide whether the school district’s evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer decides in favor of the school district, you may still obtain an independent evaluation, but you will have to pay the costs associated with the independent evaluation.

Do I need to inform the school district if I intend to seek an independent educational evaluation?

Although it is often helpful to consult with the school district when seeking an independent educational evaluation, you are not required to inform the school district in advance. Your decision to consult or not to consult with the school district will have no bearing on your right to ask that the independent educational evaluation be at no cost to you but instead paid by the school district.

If I inform the school district that I am obtaining an IEE what is the school district required to do?

The school district must, without delay; either agree to pay for the IEE or initiate due process procedures to defend the appropriateness of its evaluation.

Is the school required to accept the results of an independent education evaluation?

The school district must consider the results of any independent educational evaluation, including the one you pay for, when making decisions regarding your child’s educational program. However, the school district is not required to agree with or implement any or all of the results or recommendations of the independent educational evaluation. You may also submit the results of an independent educational evaluation as evidence at a due process hearing.

How do I find a professional or clinic to conduct an independent educational evaluation?

The school district must provide you with a list of qualified independent evaluators when you ask for an independent evaluation.

This case was not handled by our firm. However, if you have any questions regarding this case, or any education matter, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at

If you have a child with a disability and have questions about special education law, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq., at 203-221-3100, or at, to schedule a free consultation.

Weapon Incidents in Schools: Discretionary Discipline

Discretionary Discipline for Weapon Incidents in Schools
Uniform Policy

Connecticut law imposes a uniform discipline policy with respect to students who bring firearms, deadly weapons, dangerous instruments, or martial arts weapons to school or to off-campus school activities. Also, students who carry a firearm or deadly weapon face criminal charges under Connecticut’s penal code.

This uniform expulsion policy does not extend to students who possess other categories of potentially dangerous objects or devices. In these cases, individual school districts determine the appropriate discipline, which may include suspension.

Deterring Students from Bringing Weapons to School

Many school districts and states have taken steps to deter students from bringing weapons and other potentially dangerous devices to school. Initiatives include (1) peer reporting, (2) search and seizure, (3) policing, (4) code of conduct revisions, (5) violence reduction education, and (6) social/emotional intervention. Current initiatives promoted by the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) consist mainly of social/emotional intervention techniques that address a range of behavior problems.

Notably, some initiatives to deter weapon incidents in schools have faced constitutional challenges. Federal and state courts have weighed in on whether various weapons deterrent initiatives violate students’ constitutional rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as under the civil rights acts.

Weapon incidents in schools may not always involve firearms, deadly weapons, dangerous instruments, or martial arts weapons. If a student brings a weapon to school that does not fall into the category of a firearm, deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or martial arts weapon, then the school administration may choose its own punishment, which, by law, includes suspension.

What Warrants a Suspension?

To warrant a suspension under state law, a student’s conduct on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity must (1) violate a publicized school board policy, (2) seriously disrupt the educational process, or (3) endanger people or property (CGS § 10-233c(a)). When a student possesses a weapon, school administrators could conclude that one or several of such conditions have occurred, thereby justifying suspension.

State law does not require or recommend a specific length of time for the suspension. However, it does require the student to serve the suspension in school, unless the administration determines that the student:

  1. poses a danger to the people or property of the school;
  2. poses a disruption to the educational process if he or she were to serve the suspension in school;
  3. deserves out-of-school suspension due to previous suspension or expulsion; or
  4. has not responded to behavioral support strategies previously offered by the administration (CGS § 10-233c(g)).

This case was not handled by our firm. However, if you have any questions regarding this case, or any education matter, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at