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Suspension and Expulsion of Special Education Students 2014. Co-Presented by: Mary Samples, Assistant Superintendent and Fran Arner-Costello, Director of Programs and Services, Ventura County SELPA 2013 Changes to Guidelines. Alternatives to suspension

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Suspension and Expulsion of Special Education Students 2014

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Suspension and expulsion of special education students 2014

Suspension and Expulsion of Special Education Students2014

Co-Presented by: Mary Samples,

Assistant Superintendent

and Fran Arner-Costello,

Director of Programs and Services,

Ventura County SELPA

2013 changes to guidelines

2013 Changes to Guidelines

  • Alternatives to suspension

  • Limits to first time suspensions

  • Exceptions to required expulsions

  • Rights of Foster Children

Reasons for changes

Reasons for Changes

  • Overidentification of students:

    • Minorities

    • Gender Identification

    • IEPs

Can i discipline special education students

Can I Discipline Special Education Students?

  • You can!

  • For any infractions in EC 48900

  • Special Education requirements just put in place some “checks and balances” that students are being disciplined for misbehavior that they should be able to control, rather than being punished for having a disability that they can’t control.

Example of disabilities causing misbehaviors

Example of Disabilities Causing Misbehaviors

  • A student with autism becomes frightened and disoriented by a high pitched sound, exacerbated by the autism. If he hits/bites/kicks the teacher, it is caused by the autism.

  • A student with an auditory processing disorder does not understand and comply with the principal’s directions. It is caused by the learning disability.

Examples when disability is not causing misbehavior

Examples When Disability IsNot Causing Misbehavior

  • Student with a learning disability in the area of math willfully destroys school property

  • Student in a wheelchair and normal intelligence sells drugs at school

  • Student with a speech-language impairment starts a racially-motivated fight

Who decides about discipline

Who Decides About Discipline?

  • You do!

  • In collaboration with the other members of the IEP team

  • Requires an understanding of the various Special Education disabilities, and what the characteristics are (rely on your Special Education professionals)

You may suspend for first time offenses ec48900

You may suspend for first time offenses: (EC48900)

a)1. Caused/threatened physical injury

2. Willfully used force or violence

b) Possessed, sold, furnished a firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous object

c) Possessed, sold, used or furnished or under the influence of a controlled substance

d) Offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant

e) Committed/attempted robbery or extortion

You may not suspend for first time offenses of 48900 f r

You may not suspend for first time offenses of 48900 (f)-(r)

  • You must use alternatives to suspension

Alternatives may include

Alternatives may include:

  • In-school suspension (see next slide)

  • Parent conference

  • School-wide behavioral strategies

  • Detention

  • Behavior contracts

  • Etc.

    You must document when these are utilized.

In school suspension student must

In-School Suspension student must:

  • Have access to school work (core curriculum)

  • Receive special education services

  • Have opportunities for integration with non-disabled peers

    Does NOT count as a day of suspension.

First ten days of suspension

First Ten Days of Suspension

  • May discipline Special Education students just like others (unless you have agreed to a Behavior Plan that precludes it)

  • No more than five days at a time

  • If Special Education student is accumulating a lot of suspensions, consider a Behavior Plan

Behavior plans

Behavior Plans

  • Part of the IEP

  • Consider why the behavior is occurring

  • Attempts to address the why by:

  • - Changing factors in the school setting

  • - Changing motivators and reinforcers

  • - Teaching the student a more appropriate way of getting the need met

Before suspending more than ten days

Before Suspending More than Ten Days

  • School staff determine if there is a pattern.

  • Pattern takes into consideration:

  • Length of suspensions

  • Proximity of suspensions

  • Reasons for suspensions

Consideration of pattern

Consideration of Pattern

  • Were any of the suspensions especially long, causing a disruption in learning?

  • Were the suspensions so close together that they caused a disruption in learning?

  • Were the suspensions for the same or similar behaviors?



  • Is there a pattern?

If no pattern

If no pattern….

  • Document on the “Consideration of Suspensions for Determination of Pattern” form

  • You may suspend further (20 total days in year) but should conduct the Determination of Pattern process each time, to see if there is a pattern

  • Determine necessary services during suspension

If pattern

If pattern….

  • Schedule an IEP meeting to conduct a Manifestation Determination Review, within ten days.

    It is best practice to hold the meeting before 11th day of suspension. Consult your special education administrator.

Manifestation determination review

Manifestation Determination Review

  • This is a “check and balance” for Special Education students to determine if the behavior subject to suspension beyond 10 days:

  • Wascaused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the disability

  • Was caused by the district’s failure to implement the IEP

Suspension and expulsion of special education students 2014

  • You must consider each of the misbehaviors for which a student may be suspended in the future.

  • If a Foster Youth, the Social Worker and the Child’s Attorney should be invited to the Manifestation Determination meeting.



  • Sample Manifestation

If either question is yes

If either question is “yes”

Then the behavior is a manifestation of the disability and you may not suspend further at this time for that behavior

  • Change the IEP to address the behavior, for example, services, accommodations, goals

  • Implement the elements of the plan that were not appropriately implemented

If it is a manifestation

If it is a Manifestation

  • The student must have an FBA-based Behavior Intervention Plan to address the behavior in question.

    1) If one already exists, it should be reviewed and revised as necessary

    2) If none exists, the team must develop an assessment plan to conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment

If the answer to both manifestation questions are no

If the answer to both manifestation questions are “no”

  • Then the misbehavior is not a Manifestation of the disability, and you may suspend for up to 10 more days for this misbehavior.

  • You should consider the need for a Behavior Plan, or revise the current one.

  • Conduct new Manifestation if there is a new misbehavior.

What about serious dangerous behaviors

What About Serious, Dangerous Behaviors?

If Special Education student:

  • Possesses illegal drugs/ sells or solicits the sale

  • Carries or possesses a weapon

  • Inflicts serious bodily injury

    The student can be placed in an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) for 45 school days

Suspension and expulsion of special education students 2014


  • School personnel determine the IAES

  • If parents dispute the IAES, the IAES placement becomes the “stay put” during the pendency of the dispute

  • A Hearing Officer will decide whether the IAES is appropriate

  • Before 45 days, IEP team meets to come up with a new plan, which may include an agreed-upon change of placement

Steps during iaes

Steps During IAES

  • Conduct Manifestation Determination (if not done already)

  • If Manifestation, consider change of placement

  • If not a Manifestation, consider expulsion.

Where is an iaes

Where is an IAES?

Might be:

  • Home/ Hospital instruction

  • Alternative schools

  • Non-Public School

If a manifestation what if parent does not agree to change of placement at end of 45 days

(If a Manifestation) What if Parent Does not Agree to Change of Placement at end of 45 Days?

  • Get the IEP team working to come to consensus on new placement after IAES

  • File for Due Process if parents do not agree

  • Student returns to the placement s/he was in when the misbehavior occurs if not resolved.

Other situations

Other Situations

  • Even if the student did not commit one of the three IAES behaviors, the school personnel can place in an IAES if s/he feels the student is likely to cause serious harm to self or others

  • If parents object, requires an expedited hearing with the Hearing Officer to approve (within 20 days)

  • Must show evidence of serious potential for harm

What about expulsion mandatory for ec 48915 c 1 5

What about expulsion?Mandatory for EC 48915 (c)(1)-(5)

  • Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm

  • Brandishing a knife

  • Selling a controlled substance

  • Sexual assault or battery

  • Possession of an explosive

Changes to mandatory expulsion

Changes to mandatory expulsion:

Administrators do not have to recommend expulsion if:

  • circumstances do not warrant expulsion –and-

  • other means of correction would address conduct

    Discipline should be imposed quickly to

    avoid loss of instructional time.

Can special education students be expelled

Can Special Education Students be Expelled?

  • They can be expelled for the same reasons as general education students.

  • Must have a Manifestation Determination Review within 10 calendar days of behavior

  • If it is a manifestation, you may not expel for that behavior

  • If not a manifestation, you may recommend for expulsion

If manifestation

If Manifestation

You must take the same steps as for Suspension:

  • Implement elements of the IEP not appropriately implemented.

  • Develop a FBA-based Behavior Plan to address the behavior.

  • You may not move forward on expulsion.

Expelled special education students

Expelled Special Education Students

  • District remains responsible for student’s education

  • The district must still provide Special Education and related services to assist them in progressing in the core curriculum during the period of expulsion

  • Examples: Non Public Schools, Alternative Schools, Home/Hospital



If you forget

If you forget…

The Guidelines are posted on our website under “Administrative Resources”

Suspension and expulsion of special education students 2014

Thank you for coming, we hope it has been helpful!

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