Skip to main content


Discipline generally refers to suspensions and expulsions, which remove students from their educational placement. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) set requirements and protections for the discipline of students with an individualized education program (IEP).

IDEA Discipline Requirements (PDF)
IDEA requirements for disciplinary decisions.

Discipline Protections for Students with a Disability
This video that provides a synopsis of the discipline protections and resources for students with a disability. The link redirects you to the Catamaran website where you will find the video on the Discipline Guidance page. 

Responding to and Counting Disciplinary Removals (PDF)
This document provides guidance on counting disciplinary removals for students who are protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Determining a Change of Placement (PDF)
The purpose of this document is to build awareness and assist districts in developing a deeper understanding of one of the most important concepts involved in discipline protections afforded to students with disabilities. As districts implement the discipline protections for students with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) these include the obligation to consider positive behavior interventions and supports for a student whose behavior impedes their learning or the learning of others.

School Climate and Student Discipline Resources
The  U.S. Department of Education provides substantial resources to support the challenging work of setting all students up for success and meeting their academic, behavioral, and mental health needs.

Administrators, educators, students, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders can find on this site tools, data, and resources to:

  • Meet students' social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs;
  • Help schools understand and comply with Federal laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, sex, and disability; and
  • Find information and resources for promoting welcoming and safe schools.

Shortened School Day (PDF)
As part of the protections afforded under IDEA, students with disabilities have the right to attend school for the same length of time in each school day as non-disabled students. Absent a decision by the IEP team based on a student's unique educational needs, a FAPE includes the right to attend school for the full school day.

Conducting a Manifestation Determination Review (PDF)
A manifestation determination review (MDR) is an individual entitlement, for a student with an individualized education program (IEP), who has experienced a change of placement due to a violation of a district's code of student conduct.

An MDR is also required when a district has a basis of knowledge the student student is a student with a disability even if the student has not yet been found eligible for special education at the time of the proposed discipline.

Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) Model Form (PDF)
A manifestation determination review is required within ten school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct.