Disruptive Disabilities and Room Clears

Rethinking The Idea’s Least Restrictive Environment Provision

This Note explores the increasing use of “room clears” as a method of handling disruptive student behavior in the elementary school classroom, focusing particularly on the relationship between room clears and limitations on student discipline under the IDEA. Part I addresses the increasing prevalence of room clears and the associated impact on overall classroom education. Part II explores the legal framework surrounding the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general classroom, the restrictions on removing certain students from the classroom, and the utilization of room clears as a technique for handling disruptive students. Part III analyzes the impact of disrupted learning environments on all students and the resulting deprivation of educational rights. Finally, Part IV recommends revising the IDEA and implementing increased funding and reporting mechanisms to reduce the prevalence of room clears.

a. J.D. 2021, University of Illinois College of Law; B.A. 2011, Willamette University. Special thanks to Dan McDermott for his unwavering support and encouragement; to Robin Tzucker for her invaluable insight and perspective from her years as an educator; and to the staff of the University of Illinois Law Review for their thoughtful suggestions and editorial input.

The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.