Discipline Procedures for Students with Disabilities



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.

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