My son had a 504 plan, because he is ADHD, which was put in place when he was in the 6th grade. He is now in the 11th grade. In Jan. of 2005 the guidance counselor called him to her office to discuss his 504. This was the first time the high school even acknowledged his 504 and he had been there since August of 2003. My son told the guidance counselor he felt he did not need it. She called me and told me about the conversation and she said it looked like everything had been going well. In her opinion it looked like it would be ok to end it and if I agreed I would need to sign the paper to end it. I said ok because everything had been going well.
My son got into trouble before the Christmas holidays and was recommended for expulsion. I believed my son no longer had a 504, as did the school. The hearing took place on Jan. 24 in front of the schools disciplinary board. We were given their decision the following morning. My son was able to stay in school on strict probation. He was kicked off the bus for the remainder of the year and has Saturday school every other Sat. for the rest of the year. He has a list of rules he canít break which include no talking in class or getting out of seat for the rest of the year. These would be difficult for anyone but may be unreasonable to expect this from a kid with ADHD. We signed the papers agreeing to the rules. The following day the principle, who was not a part of the hearing, called me to tell me my son could not participate in extracurricular activities. He knew my son had all state auditions for band in 3 days. Getting a call back to audition for state is a huge accomplishment and very difficult to achieve. The band directors from colleges scout the state auditions and offer scholarships. This man knew he was taking this opportunity from my son. He said my son would be a bad representative for the school. These auditions are completely anonymous. The kids have numbers. They have a curtain between them and the judges. They do not know the students name, school or district and my son was certainly not going to announce he was on school probation. Iím very upset that the principle has taken away this opportunity from my son. He also has taken away all after school activities with the band. Being ADHD my son needs an outlet and band keeps kids very busy so there is less of a chance for trouble.
The school had not provided the services under 504 for the first year and a half my son was there. The only time they addressed his 504 was when the guidance counselor told me she thought it would be ok to end it. My husband went to the school on Friday and got a copy of everything in his 504 plan. That is when we found out that I never signed anything deactivating his 504. The only thing in the folder about ending it was a hand written note from the counselor that she had spoken to me and would need for me to sign the paper work. So his 504 was active through this whole process. The school never even looked in his folder before proceeding with the hearing to make sure the paperwork was in order. During the hearing we brought up the fact that my son never received services under his 504 since being in high school. His plan from middle school followed him but the high school never acknowledged it until half way through his sophomore year. The Vice Principle stood up and said the mother had requested to end his 504. I said thatís not right, I never requested to end it. Lots of people got excited and said this meeting is over. When I tried to speak they said donít say anything send your son to school tomorrow and they would go over his 504 and address this issue at a latter time. I convinced them to let me say something and I told them I signed the paper to end it but it was not requested by me, it was suggested by the counselor. They said the hearing could proceed. I have a terrible memory and only remember the conversation with the counselor and did not remember that I never received any paperwork to sign. His act was impulsive which is related to his disability. Because the school did not follow correct procedure under 504, I realize we will be going through some legal stuff. Is there anything we can do because the principle kept my son from an opportunity to receive a college scholarship? We pleaded with him for 2 days, which was all the time we had, about the importance of him going. The only thing he said was ďI stand by my decisionĒ.