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(8.1) Is my child with a disability treated under the law precisely as a child without a disability if she is being suspended or expelled?

(8.1) Is my child with a disability treated under the law precisely as a child without a disability if she is being suspended or expelled?

A child with a disability can be disciplined (suspended or expelled) for the same reasons and to the same extent as a child without a disability. However, there are additional rules and safeguards that the school must follow. These rules are primarily intended to ensure the school takes your child’s disability into account at various stages of a disciplinary action. These rules include:

  1. Manifestation Determination:  a special review that looks into whether your child’s disability or the school’s failure to follow her IEP led to the misconduct that your child has allegedly committed;
  2. Special circumstances for offenses involving weapons, drugs,
    and
    serious bodily injury;
  3. Discipline of a child who has a disability but has not yet been determined eligible for an IEP; and
  4. Discipline of a child with a disability who is eligible for a Section 504 plan.

These special safeguards, when they apply and how they protect your child with a disability under both the IDEA and Section 504 are explained in this chapter below. See questions 7 through 20.