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Special Education Law

Understanding a manifestation determination meeting

On Behalf of | May 7, 2020 | Due Process |

If you are an Orange County parent who has a child with a disability that led to an alleged behavioral issue, his or her school may want to expel him or her. However, under California law, the school must go through a process first. If your child has a disability, the school is required to conduct a manifestation determination meeting as well.

The hearing on your child’s expulsion must take place within 30 days of the school accusing your child of violating the California Education Code. It can be postponed by the student, but for no more than 30 days. Once the hearing takes place, the school board has 10 days to make a decision regarding the expulsion, but the student can postpone that as well, but it must be in writing.

This is how the process would progress for a “regular” student. If the school fails to conduct the manifestation determination meeting due to your student’s placement in a special education program, it could invalidate the results of the hearing. There is a good chance that your child’s behavior resulted from his or her disability, and that ought to be taken into consideration before any decision regarding your child’s future is made.

Whether you understand your child’s rights under California law or not, this would be a good time to obtain as much detail regarding those rights as possible. You have worked hard to provide your child with a quality education, and a behavioral issue brought on by your child’s disability should not derail those plans without the benefit of a manifestation determination meeting. Working with an attorney who helps parents in your position could prove invaluable.