(105 ILCS 5/14-16)
Participation in graduation ceremony.
(a) This Section may be referred to as Brittany's Law. The General Assembly finds the following:
(1) Each year, school districts across this State
celebrate their students' accomplishments through graduation ceremonies at which high school diplomas are bestowed upon students who have completed their high school requirements.
(2) There are children with disabilities in this
State who have finished 4 years of high school, but whose individualized education programs prescribe the continuation of special education, transition planning, transition services, or related services beyond the completion of 4 years of high school.
(3) It is well-established that the awarding of a
high school diploma to and the high school graduation of a child with a disability is tantamount to the termination of eligibility for special education and related services for the student under applicable federal law.
(4) Many children with disabilities who will
continue their public education in accordance with their individualized education programs after finishing 4 years of high school wish to celebrate their accomplishments by participating in a graduation ceremony with their classmates.
(5) The opportunity for classmates with disabilities
and those without disabilities to celebrate their accomplishments together only occurs once, and the opportunity to celebrate the receipt of a diploma several years after one's classmates have graduated diminishes the experience for students whose age peers have left high school several years earlier.
(b) Beginning March 1, 2005, each school district that operates a high school must have a policy and procedures that allow a child with a disability who will have completed 4 years of high school at the end of a school year to participate in the graduation ceremony of the student's high school graduating class and receive a certificate of completion if the student's individualized education program prescribes special education, transition planning, transition services, or related services beyond the student's 4 years of high school. The policy and procedures must require timely and meaningful written notice to children with disabilities and their parents or guardians about the school district's policy and procedures adopted in accordance with this Section.
(c) The State Board of Education shall monitor and enforce compliance with the provisions of this Section and is authorized to adopt rules for that purpose.
(Source: P.A. 93-1079, eff. 1-21-05.)