Manifestation Hearing


This is an old thread I had cut and pasted.


D was suspended on March 14, a 10 day suspension. He has been suspended for 1 day twice previously this year. According to his counselor when I met with her a couple of weeks ago, he was doing well and displaying more appropriate behavior regularly. The incident on March 14 began in his 2nd hour class when he and another kid started shoving each other. D and this kid were both sent to ISS for the rest of the day and the next day. D went off the wall screaming and crying. His IEP states that D can call me for assistance over the phone in calming down if he needs to. He has called a few times this year and it has really seemed to help. This time tho he was too far overwhelmed and spiraling for him to even stop yelling long enough to hear one word out of my mouth. He kept saying "you have to come and get me i can't handle this i know i can't handle this". After talking to the counselor and principal I agreed to wait a little while and see if they could get the situation under control. My hesitation in going and getting him was partially due to the fact that me and my 7 month old were both suffering from the flu, I did not want to leave the house...

I got a call on Friday the 15th and informed that because of the suspension they have to have a manifest IEP and are considering a change of placement. He was supposed to be re-evaluated in May anyway so we are also going to do that. The manifest IEP is going to be held on April 4th, the last day of the suspension. Everyone has been very cooperative at past IEPs but this seems very different and I have no idea how to prepare. The coordinator said this is to determine if the incident was due to his duh, isn't that already obvious?! Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated!

-Alisha Leigh-

This is a link from the regs on manifestation hearings:

I have found this one useful in looking for particular items in Part B of the regs.
You might also go to and search for "manifestation.
Good luck.

I have purchase a new book and was reading it tonight. It's a college text book entitled The Law and Special Education by Mitchell L. Yell. It's an excellent book I might add -- covers both IDEA 97 and Section 504 law. From page 89:
"If school officials seek a change of placement, suspension, or expulsion in excess of 10 school days, a review of the relationship between a student's disability and his or her misconduct must be conducted within 10 days. This review, called a manifestation determination, must be conducted by a student's IEP team and other qualified personnel. If a determination is made that no relationship exists between the misconduct and disability, the same discplinary procedures as would be used with students without disabilities may be imposed on a student with disabilities. Educational services, however, must be continued. The parets of the student may request an expedited due process hearing if they disagree with the results of the manifestation determination. The student's placement during the hearing will be in the interim educational setting."

This book has a website. I haven't checked it out yet, but I'll post the address for you in case it is helpful.

THANK YOU so much for all of the great information. The book sounds incredibly helpful, as soon as I post this, I am going to check out ordering it as well as all of the links you posted. Isn't it amazing to think of all the things we wouldn't know if we had pcs?!
Thanks again,


Hi Kat...
I just wanted to add a few things.
Your sd technically cannot suspend your son for 12 days. There is a limit of 10 cumulative days of suspension for students who are in sped. UNLESS the sd has written the IEP in such a way that he will be held to a different disciplinary code for specific types of behavior.

I am guessing that your son's disability is Emotionally Disturbed---which would encompass the Asperger's diagnosis. Your sd is probably wanting to discuss your son's current behaviors and develop a plan to manage them. You should be prepared for the idea that the sd may want to suggest a change in placement---based on his increasingly aggressive behaviors.

You are correct in believing that these behaviors are related to his diagnosis---so my guess is that the sd is more interested in discussing the placement issue.

The team should look at his current behavioral plan and see if it is appropriate for him now (in light of these newer behaviors).

Since your son is due for an annual review, you should ask if the manifestation meeting will be held at the same time as his annual review. Then you will be more prepared to deal with the many issues that may come up.

IF the sd finds that the behaviors are increasing to the point of their not being able to apporpiately serve him (deliver his current IEP services)then a new IEP meeting will need to be held. It would make sense to me to hold the annual review now, rather than in May if his behaviors are becoming more significant.

You also need to point out to them that you son CANNOT be suspended any more this year. UNLESS he violates any "zero tolerance" policies your sd may have.

This can be a very overwhelming situation. I hope that you feel that you have all of the information that you need. Please let us know if you don't.
Good Luck

Thanks for your reply. We are going to do the annual IEP at the manifestation meeting. I really don't know if I am prepared, I honestly am not sure what he needs or what is best for him so am really struggling with how to prepare.


Hi Kat....
I firmly believe that students are entitled to feel safe at school. And I believe that this covers their feelings as well as their physical well-being.

That being said, you can do very little to control what comes out of the mouths of others. So....I think that talking with your school staff to brain strom a bit might be helpful.
What is the focus of the teasing? Is there anything that your son can be "taught" so that he can handle it better? Is there a placement in the school that might help temper the environment a bit?

Without putting this off on your son, sometimes kids can benefit from some social skills training through their counselors. This can help them to fit in a bit better. Many sped kids are unaware of what it is about themselves that causes others to make fun of them. So helping them understand what the behaviral norm among their peers is can be helpful. This type of counseling would also cover issues like body langauge, eye contact, rate of speech, etc.

I know that you are feeling overwhelmed and confused about how to get your son the services that he needs. If you keep in mind that you know him best and want to offer helpful info to the sd to provide him with good services---you'll be on the way!
Good Luck

Sorry to have been AWAOL for a bit.
Is everyone clear that the purpose of a manifestation determination hearing is to determine if the behavior that led to the disciplinary action is a result of the disability or it is not?
It seems that in this case, there would be no question. I beg to differ with Liz on the 12 day suspension. IF the other two days are isolated, and they appear to be, then a s.d. can get away with 12 days so long as a FAPE isn't being denied by a "pattern" of repeated suspensions. Would it have made a great deal of difference if the current suspension had been for 8 days? Probably not.

I would discourage the annual review at the same time as the manifestation determination. S.D. personnel have limited attention spans and the issue that needs to be settled first in my opinion is whether or not "normal" disciplinary procedures apply. If they do not (likely outcome), then what positive behavioral supports can be added NOW to stop this downward spiral? This should be tried FIRST rather than a change of placement in April. If positive behavioral supports are not successful, then the annual review can look at additional measures, including but not limited to, change of placement in June.
Just my .02--and quite late at that.


I never thought of the attention span issue. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! I will call the SSD rep in the morning and tell her of the change.

Marti, following article by ldonline gives a good overview of some discipline provisions for children with-IEPs. Might want to consider archiving it.