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An important responsibility of the Department of Education is to reinforce the fact that students with disabilities, including emotional and behavioral disabilities, are just as entitled to a free public education as anyone else. If behavior/s interfere with presence in the classroom, the student is not receiving the education they are entitled to. The student has a right to receive all of the services outlined within their IEP and it is the school’s responsibility to design positive behavioral interventions whenever a student’s behavior interferes with his or her schooling. When behavior continues to have a negative impact, changes to the student’s IEP and BIP should be made in order to work towards building a better and more valuable educational environment.

It is a common misconception that a Functional Assessments of Behavior and Manifestation Determination Hearings serve the same function; while they do correlate with one another, they perform different tasks. The FAB/FBA presents information on how to address certain behavioral problems, whereas manifestation determinations determine whether the student’s disability prevented his/her ability to control the behavior, as well as whether or not he or she understands the consequences behind the behavior/s. It is important to mark the difference between these two terms.

A Manifestation Determination meeting MUST take place when a student has been suspended for ten consecutive days in a school year or when short term suspensions form a pattern. The IDEA created this disciplinary procedure in order to determine whether or not a student’s disability is linked with and ultimately led to his/her behaviors or not. If the student’s behavior breaks the school’s code of conduct, the school must hold a hearing and establish whether or not there is a relationship between the student’s behavior and his/her disability, due to the fact that the consequences of these behaviors should not discriminate against the student’s disability.