What is Section 504 in public schools?

The United States Department of Education aims to make sure students with learning, mental, and physical disabilities can access the assistance they need to be successful in public school. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a law that protects the rights of disabled students who participate in programs that receive federal funding from the Department of Education.

Section 504 requires schools and other Department of Education-funded programs to give students the educational services to meet their specific, individual special needs. In addition, under Section 504, the Office of Civil Rights prohibits anyone from intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against anyone protected by this legislation. If a school district fails to comply with Section 504 regulations, the Office of Civil Rights has the authority to enforce the law by way of negotiation of a corrective action agreement. If the school still does not voluntarily comply with Section 504, the Office of Civil rights may request that the Department of Education terminate financial assistance to the district or send the case to the Department of Justice for judiciary proceedings.

Section 504 protects students who meet the following criteria at schools that receive federal assistance:

  • The student has a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities
  • The student must have a record of the impairment
  • The student must be regarded of having the impairment

If you believe your child’s rights have been violated, speak with an attorney today.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office to schedule a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.