Public School Students who have been diagnosed with a recognized learning disability are awarded additional rights pursuant to IDEA. Therefore, when a school tries to implement a punishment against a protected student with a learning disability, the law provides that student with procedural safeguards before the school may impose the punishment.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a statute which protects the rights of students between the ages of three years old to twenty one years old who have learning disabilities. IDEA is a federal statute which applies in every state. This statute grants students who have a learning disability four basic rights: (1) free appropriate education (meaning the child is provided a free public education which meets his specific needs); (2) least restrictive environment (meaning, if possible, the student is educated in an environment with students who do not have learning disabilities); (3) the school provides the child with supplementary aids to help the child through the curriculum; and (4) the school performs an assessment on the child to determine his specific needs.