My child’s been suspended and has an IEP, what are my rights?

It is best practice to be proactive when your child begins to get in trouble in school.  To assist the IEP team in understanding and knowing how to address your child’s behavioral needs, you may request an IEP team meeting and that a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) be done the first time your child is suspended or has behaviors in school so that the team can create a behavior intervention plan (BIP) to address the behavioral issues in a positive manner. A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is an observation used to help analyze a child’s behavior and a behavior intervention plan (BIP) is how the behavior will be addressed and prevented from reoccurring.

A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is done by observing the child in both a structured setting (like math or reading class) and an unstructured setting (like lunch or gym) should be done.  The observation should also be done by someone other than the child’s regular classroom teacher such as the school psychologist.  The child’s files and evaluations should be reviewed as well.

The FBA is then used to develop a hypothesis or a theory about the purpose or function that the behavior serves. Is this behavior an attempt to get out of something, to assist the child to self-regulate or express an emotion?  This information is then used to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).  A (BIP) documents the strategies, supports and methods that will be used to address the behaviors and used to teach more appropriate behaviors.  It should include strategies that will prevent the behavior from reoccurring.


Sample Request for an IEP team meeting

Sample Request for an FBA

Discipline & Behavioral Tracking Sheet

Discipline Tool Box

Manifestation Determination

To determine if a behavior is a manifestation of the child’s disability, the LEA representative, the parent and other relevant IEP members must review all pertinent information in the child’s file, the IEP, teacher observations and any information supplied by the parents. To be a manifestation, the behavior must be:

  • Caused by or have a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability, or
  • A direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP