Special needs student may be disciplined for conduct that is not attributable to his disability.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Kennedy 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2015-02-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a high school student with special needs, was found to be in possession of a bottle of tequila while on campus.   After a Manifestation Determination Review Committee determined that his conduct was unrelated to his disability, Petitioner was suspended for the remainder of the school year, though he could receive home-based services. Petitioner’s representatives contended that the conduct was directly related to his disability and that his suspension violated a federal regulation allowing school personnel to send Petitioner to an alternative educational setting for up to 45 days for possession of an illegal drug.  The Court concluded that the federal regulation did not apply to conduct involving the possession of alcohol and that Petitioner presented insufficient evidence to prove that the school district failed to adequately consider his disability when determining his punishment.