Manifestation Determination

Manifestation Determination: What the Law Requires

Manifestation Determination: How the Law Is Implemented

Disciplining students with disabilities is one of the most contentious practices that educators in public schools must face on a regular basis. In 1997, for the first time, and nine years after the Supreme Court’s only case involving the disciplining of students with disabilities, Honig v. Doe (1988), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) codified the process by which school officials may discipline students with disabilities. Pursuant to the IDEA’s discipline provisions, school officials must engage in multidisciplinary decision-making processes and are prohibited from taking unilateral actions when students with disabilities violate school codes of conduct if there are questions about whether their misbehaviors are manifestations of their disabilities. This entry looks at these manifestation determinations and how they are implemented.

Theresa A. Ochoa

See also Behavioral Intervention Plan; Due Process Hearing; Honig v. Doe; Individualized Education Program (IEP); Stay-Put Provision

Further Readings

  • Katsiyannis, A., & Maag, J. W. (2001). Manifestation determination as a golden fleece. Exceptional Children, 8(1), 85–96. 
  • Russo, C. J., Osborne, A. G., & Borreca, E. (2005). The 2004 re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Education and the Law, 17(3), 111–117. 
  • Smith, C. R. (2000). Behavioral and discipline provisions of IDEA ’97: Implicit competencies yet to be confirmed. Exceptional Children, 66(3), 403–412. 
  • Smith, T. E. C. (2005). IDEA 2004: Another round in the reauthorization process. Remedial and Special Education, 26(6), 314–319. 
  • Turnbull, R., Huerta, N., & Stowe, M. (2006). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as amended in 2004. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. 

Legal Citations

  • Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988). 
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.