Washington - Disciplinary Due Process: Program Requirement

Program Requirement
Policy Type: 

State law establishes minimal assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.

Revised Code of Washington 28A.600.015 Expulsions and suspensions—Rules incorporating due process—Short-term and long-term suspensions—Emergency expulsions—Discretionary discipline.

(1) The superintendent of public instruction shall adopt and distribute to all school districts lawful and reasonable rules prescribing the substantive and procedural due process guarantees of pupils in the common schools. Such rules shall authorize a school district to use informal due process procedures in connection with the short-term suspension of students to the extent constitutionally permissible: PROVIDED, That the superintendent of public instruction deems the interest of students to be adequately protected. When a student suspension or expulsion is appealed, the rules shall authorize a school district to impose the suspension or expulsion temporarily after an initial hearing for no more than ten consecutive school days or until the appeal is decided, whichever is earlier. Any days that the student is temporarily suspended or expelled before the appeal is decided shall be applied to the term of the student suspension or expulsion and shall not limit or extend the term of the student suspension or expulsion. An expulsion or suspension of a student may not be for an indefinite period of time.

(2) Short-term suspension procedures may be used for suspensions of students up to and including, ten consecutive school days.

(3) Emergency expulsions must end or be converted to another form of corrective action within ten school days from the date of the emergency removal from school. Notice and due process rights must be provided when an emergency expulsion is converted to another form of corrective action.

(4) School districts may not impose long-term suspension or expulsion as a form of discretionary discipline.

(5) Any imposition of discretionary and nondiscretionary discipline is subject to the bar on suspending the provision of educational services pursuant to subsection (8) of this section.

(6) As used in this chapter, “discretionary discipline” means a disciplinary action taken by a school district for student behavior that violates rules of student conduct adopted by a school district board of directors under RCW 28A.600.010 and this section, but does not constitute action taken in response to any of the following:

  • (a) A violation of RCW 28A.600.420;
  • (b) An offense in RCW 13.04.155;
  • (c) Two or more violations of RCW 9A.46.120, 9.41.280, 28A.600.455, 28A.635.020, or 28A.635.060 within a three-year period; or
  • (d) Behavior that adversely impacts the health or safety of other students or educational staff.

(7) Except as provided in RCW 28A.600.420, school districts are not required to impose long-term suspension or expulsion for behavior that constitutes a violation or offense listed under subsection (6)(a) through (d) of this section and should first consider alternative actions.

(8) School districts may not suspend the provision of educational services to a student as a disciplinary action. A student may be excluded from a particular classroom or instructional or activity area for the period of suspension or expulsion, but the school district must provide an opportunity for a student to receive educational services during a period of suspension or expulsion

Revised Code of Washington 28A.600.010 Enforcement of rules of conduct—Due process guarantees—Computation of days for short-term and long-term suspensions.

Every board of directors, unless otherwise specifically provided by law, shall:
(1) Enforce the rules prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction for the government of schools, pupils, and certificated employees.
(2) Adopt and make available to each pupil, teacher and parent in the district reasonable written rules regarding pupil conduct, discipline, and rights, including but not limited to short-term suspensions as referred to in RCW 28A.600.015 and suspensions in excess of ten consecutive days. Such rules shall not be inconsistent with any of the following: Federal statutes and regulations, state statutes, common law, and the rules of the superintendent of public instruction. The board’s rules shall include such substantive and procedural due process guarantees as prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction under RCW 28A.600.015. When such rules are made available to each pupil, teacher, and parent, they shall be accompanied by a detailed description of rights, responsibilities, and authority of teachers and principals with respect to the discipline of pupils as prescribed by state statutory law, the superintendent of public instruction, and the rules of the school district.
For the purposes of this subsection, computation of days included in “short-term” and “long-term” suspensions shall be determined on the basis of consecutive school days.
(3) Suspend, expel, or discipline pupils in accordance with RCW 28A.600.015.

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