What happens when a school fails to follow the rules for a manifestation of disability review?
We received a call from a mother whose daughter was suspended in October 2012 after distributing her medication to other students.
In November, the school conducted a “Manifestation of Disability Review” (MDR), but decided not to invite the girl’s parents. The results of the MDR were – not surprisingly – that the conduct was not a manifestation of her disability. She was then expelled.
After Disability Law Colorado became involved, the school agreed to immediately get her back into school (with transportation), send her to summer school for compensatory services (she doesn’t normally qualify for extended school year services), train their staff on MDRs and re-do the MDR.
At the new MDR hearing, with the child’s mother and three mental health workers, the school found the behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability. The expulsion has been eliminated and school staff are working on a new placement for the student for the summer and fall. Meanwhile, she is happily completing the current semester.