Students with IEPs can receive in-school and out-of-school suspensions in the same manner and for the same reasons as students without IEPs. The process and consequences are the same UNTIL a district plans to suspend a student with an IEP who has already been suspended MORE than ten cumulative school days within the school year.
If the student with a disability has been determined to have committed an offense that violates a school rule or the school code of conduct that could result in exclusion for longer than ten school days, the IEP team must conduct a manifestation determination within the first ten days of removal. This meeting is held with the parent and relevant members of the IEP team. The team reviews all relevant information in the student’s file, the IEP, teacher observations, and any relevant information from the parent(s) and student.
If at this meeting, the behavior IS determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student must be returned to their current placement no later than the 11th day following the removal, unless the parent and IEP team agree to a change of placement. The IEP team MUST determine that the behavior was a manifestation of the disability if the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability OR the behavior was a direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP as written.
If at this meeting, the behavior is determined NOT to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may be disciplined, suspended, or expelled to the same extent as a student without a disability. However, the student with a disability must continue to receive a free, appropriate public education during any period of removal for more than ten school days. Unlike students without IEPs who could be denied educational services of any nature during an extended suspension or expulsion, educational services MUST be provided to the student with an IEP starting on day 11. These services must enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the IEP. The student must also receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.
No manifestation determination is required if the student (1) carried or possessed a gun or dangerous weapon, (2) knowingly possessed or used illegal drugs, sold or solicited a controlled substance, or (3) inflicted serious bodily injury on another at school, on school grounds, or at a school function. In these cases the student may be removed unilaterally (without parental consent or permission of an impartial hearing officer) by the school to an Interim Alternative Educational Setting for up to 45 school days.
Read more about these discipline rules:
Summary of the Discipline and Manifestation Determination Provisions of IDEA 2004