The manifestation determination meeting is an IEP meeting to determine whether a student with a disability may be expelled from school or have his placement changed for more than 10 school days for misconduct. It must be held within 10 school days of the school’s decision to expel the student or change his placement. At the meeting, the IEP team reviews the relevant information from the student’s file, including the IEP and any information from teachers and the parents, and then decides two things:
- Was the behavior caused by, or did it have “a direct and substantial relationship” to the student’s disability; and
- Was the behavior the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP?
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.530(e).]
If the IEP team answers “YES” to either question, the student cannot be expelled. Also, any placement change requires either the consent of the parent or an ALJ’s order. If the IEP team determines that the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student has the right to go back to his original placement unless the IEP team decides that a change of placement is appropriate. The school must also do a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) for the student or modify the student’s existing behavioral intervention plan (BIP) to address the behavior. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415(k)(1)(F); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.530(f).]
If the team answers “NO” to both questions, the student can be referred for expulsion.