When Bad Behavior Is Due To A Disability
One of the most devastating calls you can receive as a parent is the school calling to tell you they have initiated an expulsion proceeding against your child due to poor behavior.
At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, the discipline procedures in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require school systems to conduct what is known as a manifestation determination review or hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether or not the child’s behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability. At our firm Windsor Law LLC, our extensively knowledgable education attorney can help guide you through these issues.
How A Manifestation Determination Review Proceeds If Your Child Has An IEP
If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), before the expulsion process can start, they must conduct a manifestation determination review. This review must be held within 10 days of the conduct, at which time the IEP team must review the complete file and consider all relevant information, including the IEP, any teacher observations and any information supplied by the parents.
The IEP team must then answer two questions:
- Was the conduct caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability?
- Was the conduct the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP?
The importance of this meeting is sometimes lost on the parents, and they show up unprepared and oblivious to the magnitude of this undertaking.
If the answer to both questions is yes, then by law, the behavior was a manifestation of the disability and the expulsion process will stop immediately.
If the answer to both questions is no, the school personnel may then apply the same disciplinary procedures to children with disabilities, in the same manner, and for the same duration, as the procedures would be applied to children without disabilities. This means the expulsion process would be allowed to continue. It’s important to note that your child will not be expelled during a manifestation determination review. Rather, this will determine whether that process will be allowed to continue to an expulsion hearing.
While there is no guarantee of outcome, preparation for a manifestation determination review is crucial to increase the likelihood of success, especially since most schools will be highly reluctant to admit that the behavior was caused by the child’s disability or the school’s failures to implement the IEP correctly.
Let Windsor Law LLC help you and your child by attending the manifestation determination review with you.
What Is The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
- Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.
- Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.
Call Our Attorney For Advice For An Expulsion Process
If your child has a learning disability, they need legal protection if kicked out of school. Call our attorney at 941-487-7527 today or reach us online to schedule an appointment to determine the next steps.