If you as a parent are not familiar with manifestation meetings and your child displays behaviors at school, the chances that the school will send your child to an alternative school are high. Fortunately, if you know how to protect your child’s rights through the manifestation process, you can be successful in having your child remain in the school they are currently attending.
Many children who have an IEP are susceptible for suspensions and other disciplinary action even though they have a disability. Even though your child has a Behavior Intervention Plan or a behavior aide, your child can still be suspended or expelled. Yes, the school is obligated to implement positive behavioral supports, services, and goals to replace the maladaptive behavior with appropriate behavior, however, the school can still impose suspension or expulsion that will require a Manifestation Determination Meeting.
When a child is suspended for up to 10 days or more, the public school has the obligation to hold a Manifestation Determination meeting to determine what will happen to the child. In many cases, children are sent to the “alternative school” which may be the school in the district where all children have a disability or children who are typical children and have disciplinarian issues are placed for 45 days or more. That is called changing the child’s educational placement for disciplinary reasons.
When a student is suspended and the school wants to expel your child, the manifestation determination meeting must take place within ten school days of the decision to change the child’s educational placement for disciplinary reasons.
Under IDEA, there are specific requirements for a manifestation determination meeting that the school district must follow. “Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the school, parent, and relevant members of the student’s IEP team must determine if the behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability and if the conduct in question was the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP.”
Most infractions were caused by a direct result of the child’s disability, however, when parents don’t know their rights, school districts will expel the child unlawfully.
Don’t let your school district send your child to an alternative school where they will most likely be exposed to other children who have been expelled for disciplinary infractions. These kids have violated the code of conduct such as drugs, weapons, fights, terrorist threats, or sexual infractions. Kids on an IEP do not belong in this type of environment, yet school districts do this all the time to unaware parents.
If your child has an IEP and has been suspended for up to 10 school days, and the school asks you to attend a Manifestation Meeting, make sure you obtain advocacy assistance to protect the rights of your child.
Here’s to your advocacy success,
If you haven’t joined our Private Special Education Parent Empowerment Facebook Group yet, you should check it out here.
Here’s what parents are saying about the group:
“Today is a pretty big win for my daughter and I, two years into the process, the district has finally agreed on a 1:1. Thank you Valerie and everyone else on this page for your wealth of knowledge and support! I know it’s not over, but it’s progress!” – Kris Kar