Summary of 504 Discipline Procedures


Summary of Section 504 Discipline Procedures

I. School staff may suspend 504-eligible students for up to 10 consecutive school days in the same manner as non-disabled students are suspended.

II. There is no obligation under Section 504 to provide services when a student’s total removals exceed 10 cumulative days in a school year, unless ordered by the 504 Team.

III. A removal that is a “change of placement” triggers additional duties.  A removal is a “change of placement” if:

  • The removal is for more than 10 consecutive days; or

  • There is a series of removals that constitutes a pattern because:

  • The removals total more than 10 school days in school year;

  • The behavior is “substantially similar” to the behavior in previous incidents; and

  • The effect of additional factors such as the length of each removal, their proximity in time and the total length of the removals.

IV. If a removal is a “change of placement”:

  • The 504 Team must meet within 10 school days.

  • The Team must conduct a manifestation determination:

  • If the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the district must return the student to his or her last placement unless the 504 Team decides on a different program and placement in response to the misbehavior, including further removal.

  • If it is not a manifestation, the district may use regular school discipline, with no need to provide services.

V. Manifestation Determination Standard

  • Was the conduct in question caused by, or did it have a direct and substantial relationship to, the student’s disability?


  • Was the conduct in question the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the student’s 504 Plan?

VI. Drug and Alcohol Offenses

  • If a 504 student whom the school determines is currently using illegal drugs or alcohol violates a school code of conduct, policy or rule related to the use or possession of alcohol or drugs, the district may discipline that student to the same extent it would a non-disabled student.  The 504 Team is not required to meet or conduct a Manifestation Determination.