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Manifestation Determination in Pennsylvania | What You Should Know

Manifestation Determination in Pennsylvania | What You Should Know

As you know, everyone is different. This means that not all children develop and learn the same. Unfortunately, schools are not always accommodating to individuals that require special attention. For example, when certain students have behavioral or emotional disabilities, they are oftentimes wrongly disciplined for “acting out,” when in reality, they are not behaving in such a way out of defiance, rebellion, or anything of the sort. If you believe that your child is wrongly facing expulsion, suspension, or alternative placement due to his or her disability, your child may have to take a Manifestation Determination. Please read on and speak with our Pennsylvania special education attorney to learn more.

What is Manifestation Determination?

The Manifestation Determination process determines whether your child is being punished because of his or her disability. The school district will evaluate your child, speak with your child’s teachers, assess your child’s diagnosis, and more. The IEP team will then make a Manifestation Determination. If they determine the behavior was a manifestation of the disability, the district should not discipline the child in such a way.

How does the process work?

Your child’s school district will coordinate a meeting with you, the Local Education Agency, and the IEP team within 10 days of the school’s decision to discipline the student. The district will then have to determine whether the penalties were justified by deciding whether the conduct had to do with the child’s disability, or if the conduct was due to the district incorrectly enforcing the IEP. If the latter is confirmed, the district will have to adjust the IEP instead of disciplining the student.

Should I hire an attorney for this process?

In most cases, yes, you should. These meetings are critical in determining the future of your special needs student’s education within the district, and without hiring an attorney, you and your child may be vulnerable to some of the various consequences of the meeting. Our firm is here to guide you through every step of the process to ensure that the rights of your child are protected.

Contact our Firm

Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.

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