A student was receiving special education and related services based on a learning disability and ADHD. The student was making educational progress in school and performing well under the provisions of the IEP and BIP. However, an incident occurred during which the student was determined to have violated provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. As a result of that incident, school personnel recommended that the student be placed in an alternative disciplinary setting for a period of time.

The student’s parent was notified that the district would conduct a manifestation determination review (MDR) at an ARD committee meeting to consider the recommendation. The review was conducted with the parent in attendance. The review sought to determine whether the student’s behavior was caused or had a relationship to the student’s disabilities, or was the result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP. The review concluded that the conduct was not related to the student’s disability or the district’s failure to implement the IEP.

Accordingly, the district notified the parent that the student would be referred to the disciplinary setting. The student’s parent withdrew the student from school and filed a request for a hearing with the Texas Education Agency, alleging that the district had violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).

After a hearing, the Special Education Hearing Officer determined that the district had not violated the law. The IEP was reasonably calculated to provide a meaningful educational benefit to the student, and the district properly conducted an MDR to determine whether the student’s behavior was related to the student’s disability. Because these actions took place in accordance with the law, the student’s removal to an alternative disciplinary placement was legal.