Suspension and Expulsion Procedures for Special Education Students
Generally, school officials may suspend a student who qualifies for special education using the same procedures as with general education students. Special education students are not exempt from the disciplinary standards that apply to all students.
When a special education student violates CA Education Code 48900(a) through (q), (s), 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4, or 48900.7, the student may be suspended for no more than 10 consecutive days. Likewise, the student may be suspended for no more than 10 cumulative days in a series of shorter suspensions that constitutes a pattern. (A pattern is present where the suspensions stem from substantially similar conduct.) 34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.536 (2006).
A suspension of 10 or fewer consecutive or cumulative school days does not trigger the need for a manifestation determination. 34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.530(e) (2006). A suspension of more than 10 consecutive school days, or a series of shorter suspensions that totals more than 10 cumulative school days and which constitutes a pattern, triggers the need for a manifestation determination. Id.
When a special education student violates CA Education Code 48900(a) through (q), (s), 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4, or 48900.7, the student may be expelled if a manifestation determination is held and it is determined that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of their disability. 34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.530(c) (2006).
A student’s conduct is a manifestation of their disability if either of the following applies:
- It was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the disability, or
- It was the direct result of the school district’s failure to implement the IEP.
34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.530(e) (2006).
Foster or Homeless Youth
If the manifestation determination is held for a foster or homeless student for a non-mandatory offense,the student’s attorney and child welfare agency representative (for foster youth) or the Homeless Youth Liaison (for homeless youth) shall be invited to participate in the meeting. The invitation may be made by mail, email or telephone call. This Notice also may be provided to the student’s attorney/child welfare agency representative/homeless liaison for mandatory offenses.
Interim Alternative Educational Setting:
If the violation committed by the student includes possession of drugs or a weapon, or infliction of serious bodily injury as defined by law, the school district may unilaterally move the student to a 45-school-day interim placement regardless of the result of the manifestation determination. 34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.530(g) (2006).
No expulsion hearing shall be conducted for an individual with exceptional needs until the following have occurred:
- A manifestation determination was held and found that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of the disability.
- Due process hearings and appeals, if initiated, have been completed.