School Resource Officers and Students with Disabilities: What School Resource Officers Should Understand and Know (Open to all LEO’s)


School districts across the nation are utilizing school resource officers (SRO) to maintain a safe and secure environment. School administrators benefit from the SRO’s training, knowledge, and experience in handling situations. It is essential for law enforcement personnel to have a comprehensive understanding of the role of SROs, especially as it pertains to special education students.

School resource officers will learn how to help foster a culture of conflict resolution in schools and be trained to have a better awareness of, and sensitivity to, the needs of students with disabilities. This class is open to all LEO’s that may have interactions with students with disabilities and is NOT limited to SRO’s.

What is covered in this class:

  • An overview of relevant laws (IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Qualifying disabilities identified by the IDEA, descriptions of behavioral and special characteristics typical of each disability
  • Functional behavioral assessments, behavioral intervention plans, and the limitations and Chapter 33 Regulations for the use of restraint an seclusion.
  • Goal and techniques in de-escalation, including how to use distance, non-verbal communication methods, and how to talk with students with disabilities, and principles of behavior change
  • A description of the discipline process for children with disabilities, including limits on suspension and expulsion, manifestation meetings, alternative educational settings, and students due process right through the discipline process.
  • Scenarios involving children with disabilities provided the officers an opportunity to apply what they learned individually or in small groups

Instructor: Heidi O’Leary

Special Education Director



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