The following accommodation came up in a list a parent sent to her son’s school for consideration:
“Teachers should not intentionally allow other students to know that XXXXXX has an IEP and receives special education services.”
She requested it because teachers were intentionally making it clear that her child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
However, she shouldn’t have to submit such an accommodation.
Privacy is a right, not an accommodation.
IEPs and 504 Plans are confidential documents—as are the documents related to them, to include, but not limited to, eligibility documents and any documents identifying the areas of the child’s specific needs.
If a teacher states in class that a student has an IEP or 504 Plan—or does anything else that makes this clear to other students—the teacher is in noncompliance for breaching confidentiality.
Kids are smart and pick up on differences with other students, especially as they grow older. They will notice a student who leaves the classroom every time a test takes place and a student who does different activities during P.E.
While kids’ inherent Sherlock Holmes skills can’t be stopped, what can be stopped is teachers who put kids on the spot for having an IEP or 504 Plan.
While some children are open about their plans, others aren’t—and it is the school’s responsibility to maintain their privacy.