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Were the student’s actions a manifestation of the student’s disability? The need for policy change and guidance

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Published: 2017-05-22

Author

Maria M. Lewis

Pennsylvania State University

Keywords: policy implementation; special education; education law; student discipline

Abstract

Under federal special education law, before a school district may discipline a student with a disability for greater than 10 days, it must first determine whether the student’s actions were a manifestation of his or her disability (IDEA, 2004). This requirement, referred to as manifestation determination review (MDR), aims to ensure that students with disabilities do not experience a significant disciplinary change in placement for actions that are caused by their disabilities. This article will discuss the evolution of the legal standard and the policy implications of a study that examined 80 MDR decisions in one large urban school district. 

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Author Biography

Maria M. Lewis

Pennsylvania State University

Maria M. Lewis is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies and a faculty affiliate in the Law School at Pennsylvania State University. Her research is situated at the intersection of education law and policy, particularly as it relates to equity and diversity. 

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Published: 2017-05-22

How to Cite

Lewis, M. M. (2017). Were the student’s actions a manifestation of the student’s disability? The need for policy change and guidance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 50. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2880