Manifestation Determination

Disciplining students with disabilities is one of the most contentious practices that educators in public schools must face on a regular basis. In 1997, for the first time, and nine years after the Supreme Court's only case involving the disciplining of students with disabilities, Honig v. Doe (1988), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) codified the process by which school officials may discipline students with disabilities. Pursuant to the IDEA'S discipline provisions, school officials must engage in multidisciplinary decision-making processes and are prohibited from taking unilateral actions when students with disabilities violate school codes of conduct if there are questions about whether their misbehaviors are manifestations of their disabilities. This entry looks at these manifestation determinations and how they are implemented.

What the Law Requires

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