Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Children with disabilities are protected from discrimination in elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). IDEA sets forth very detailed and comprehensive roles for school districts to follow when providing children with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Unlike IDEA, Section 504 does not set out detailed rules for school districts to follow when educating children without detailed rules for school districts to follow when educating children with disabilities. More importantly, IDEA protects children who, by virtue of their disabilities, require special education services. Section 504, however prohibits discrimination against all disabled school children, regardless of whether they require special education services. Section 504 is a federal civil rights statute.
605 provides that no student, solely by reason of disability, shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity operated by the school district.
There are (2) obligations imposed on school districts by Section 504. These obligations are:
A district may not discriminate against a student with a disability and must provide related aids and services, when necessary, to avoid discrimination.
A district must provide a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) to any qualified disabled student.