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Mary: My son has a 504 and has been suspended from school. The school held a manifestation determination meeting, and determined that his disability was not related to the reason for his suspension. I was never notified of this meeting. Now the school is not willing to provide him with a free and appropriate education. Is this legal?

  1. My son was suspended after fighting in school. Son has Aspergers and does not relate to other peers. Meeting was held without me present. Can a school hold a Manifest Determination meeting without parents present? It was decided that he knew what he was doing. I requested for another meeting along with an IEP meeting to address his social issues. School refuses to do anything about his social issues as they just want to keep suspending him.

  2. No. However, a situation like this may entitle you to an expedited evaluation process for an IEP (30 day timeline instead of 60 days) — and in many cases, an IEP provides greater protections than a 504. And the suspension may make it easier for you to prove eligibility.

    So, I would recommend that you consider referring him for evaluation for special education with an expedited timeline in view of the suspension.

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