Behavioral intervention plans: Legal and practical considerations for students with emotional and behavioral disorders

John W. Maag, Antonis Katsiyannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specifies that a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) must be developed for students with disabilities under certain disciplinary exclusions. IDEA, however, does not provide details as to what should be included in BIPs, and this lack of specific guidance often results in confusion and controversy. Hopefully, school personnel draw guidance from best practices in the field. Unfortunately, what is considered best practice is not always viewed as necessary, or is at least questioned, by schools. Therefore, this article addresses three areas. First, an overview of what should appear in a BIP is provided based on evidence-based practices. Second, legal issues in the development and implementation of BIPs are presented by examining statutory provisions and established case law. Third, recommendations for educators are presented so that effective and legally mandated BIPs can be developed, implemented, and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-362
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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