State law requires districts to monitor and remediate disproportionality in discipline practices within general education populations.
Code of the District of Columbia 38-236.03. Establishment of school discipline policies.
(a) Local education agencies shall foster positive school climates that engage all students in learning. (b) Local education agencies shall adopt, in consultation with school personnel, students, and parents, school discipline policies to promote the safety and well-being of students and staff. School discipline policies shall:
- (1) Set high expectations for student behavior and adopt an instructional and corrective approach to school discipline;
- (2) Permit out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment as a disciplinary action only to ensure safety and in response to the most serious offenses, as set forth in school policy;
- (3) Avoid policies requiring automatic suspension or disciplinary unenrollment for particular behaviors unless otherwise required by law;
- (4) Include a plan for continuity of education for any student subject to a suspension, including a mechanism for modifications to the plan to meet the needs of an individual student, as necessary, to facilitate the student’s return to the classroom, and appropriate measures to ensure the student:
- (A) Continues the student’s studies during the suspension and receives all appropriate assignments for the duration of the suspension;
- (B) Can communicate with school personnel regarding academic work; and
- (C) Upon returning to school, has the opportunity to make up any school work missed during the suspension if the school work cannot be completed by the student during the student’s suspension;
- (5) Require school personnel to seek and facilitate the involvement of parents in response to an incident resulting in a disciplinary action, particularly with regard to the plan for continuity of education, to the degree that a parent is able to participate;
- (6) Identify conduct or categories of conduct, by severity of offense, including conduct that constitutes causing, attempting, or threatening bodily injury or emotional distress, for which a student may be disciplined;
- (7) Identify graduated levels of disciplinary action for misbehavior through a list of options available to teachers and administrators for each level of misconduct; provided, that such a list need not be exhaustive;
- (8) Describe the local education agency’s in-school and out-of-school suspension practice and policy;
- (9) Promote disciplinary actions that are individualized, fair, equitable, developmentally appropriate, proportional to the severity of the student’s offense, and, if appropriate, restorative;
- (10) Provide that school personnel shall consider whether student behavior can be safely and appropriately handled through other disciplinary action before making referrals to law enforcement or seeking school-related arrests in response to student behavior;
- (11) Outline procedures for communicating with students and parents regarding disciplinary actions; and
- (12) Articulate clearly the due process rights and procedures available to students and parents. (c) The school discipline policy of a local education agency that operates a pre-kindergarten program shall be consistent with the requirements of § 38-273.03. (d) A school, or local education agency, as appropriate, shall provide school discipline policies to students and parents and shall provide students and parents with explanations of the policies, including explanations of expectations, rights, and responsibilities of students and parents under the policies. The school, or local education agency, as appropriate, shall make the school discipline policy publicly available, including in a conspicuous place on the school and local education agency’s website. (e) Local education agencies shall proactively evaluate and update school discipline policies and practices to ensure fairness and equity, including by using data and feedback from students, families, and school personnel to identify, reduce, and eliminate discriminatory discipline practices or outcomes and unintended consequences.
Code of the District of Columbia 38–236.09. Annual reporting requirements.
(a) Each local education agency and entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall maintain data for each student that includes:
- (1) Demographic data including:
- (A) The campus attended by the student;
- (B) The student’s grade level;
- (C) The student’s gender identification;
- (D) The student’s race;
- (E) The student’s ethnicity;
- (F) Whether the student receives special education services;
- (G) Whether the student is classified as an English language learner; and
- (H) Whether the student is considered at-risk as defined in § 38-2901(2A);
- (2) Discipline data including:
- (A) Total number of in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, involuntary dismissals, and emergency removals experienced by the student during each school year;
- (B) Total number of days excluded from school;
- (C) Whether the student was referred to an alternative education setting for the duration of a suspension, and whether the student attended;
- (D) Whether the student was subject to a disciplinary unenrollment during the school year;
- (E) Whether the student voluntarily withdrew or voluntarily transferred from the school during the school year;
- (F) Whether the student was subject to referral to law enforcement;
- (G) Whether the student was subject to school-related arrest; and
- (H) A description of the misconduct that led to or reasoning behind each suspension, involuntary dismissal, emergency removal, disciplinary unenrollment, voluntary withdrawal or transfer, referral to law enforcement, school-based arrest and, for students with disabilities, change in placement; and
- (3) Special education services data, including whether a student received during the school year:
- (A) A functional behavioral assessment;
- (B) An updated behavior improvement plan; or
- (C) A manifestation determination review, including the number of suspension days that triggered the review, whether the suspension days were cumulative, and the outcome of the review. (b) By August 15 of each year, each local education agency or entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall submit a report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education disaggregated by each of the demographic categories identified in subsection (a)(1) of this section. The report shall include:”
- (1) The students suspended for:
- (A) At least one and no more than 5 days, and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;
- (B) At least 6 and no more than 10 days and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;
- (C) More than 10 days and whether the suspension was an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension;
- (2) The students who received more than one suspension in a school year and whether the suspensions were in-school or out-of-school suspensions;
- (3) The students who were referred to an alternative educational setting for the course of a suspension;
- (4) The students who received a school-based intervention rather than an in- school suspension, and a description of the school-based intervention;
- (5) The students involuntarily dismissed:
- (A) At least once and no more than 5 times;
- (B) At least 6 times and no more than 10 times;
- (C) More than 10 times;
- (6) The students subject to emergency removals;
- (7) The students subject to a disciplinary unenrollment, disaggregated by type of disciplinary unenrollment;
- (8) The students who voluntarily withdrew or transferred;
- (9) The students subject to referral to law enforcement;
- (10) The students subject to school-related arrest;
- (11) A description of the misconduct that led to or reasoning behind each suspension, involuntary dismissal, emergency removal, disciplinary withdrawal, voluntary withdrawal or transfer, referral to law enforcement, school-based arrest, and, for students with disabilities, change in placement;
- (12) Whether the student received a functional behavior assessment, an updated behavioral improvement plan, or a manifestation determination review, as those terms are used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2745; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.), and the outcomes of those actions; and
- (13) Whether the student was subject to suspensions exceeding the time limits described in § 38-236.04(b), and a summary of the written justification provided by the local education agency for those disciplinary actions. (c)
- (1) Each local education agency or entity operating a publicly funded community-based organization shall provide the requested data in subsection (b) of this section in a form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
- (2) The OSSE shall collaborate with local education agencies and publicly funded community-based organizations to develop consistent definitions for the types of misconduct and explanations of reasoning required to be maintained or reported pursuant to subsections (a)(2)(H) and (b)(11) of this section. (d) By December 15 of each year, beginning in 2016, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall publicly report on the data provided by local education agencies and community-based organizations in subsection (b) of this section during the preceding school year, including a relevant trend analysis. The report shall include a trend analysis based on available data, including data drawn from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, school climate surveys, and any other available sources, of the exclusion of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning of the student’s sexual orientation, transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning of the student’s gender identity or expression. (e) Repealed. [(f)] The OSSE, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of TItle 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this section.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 1511. Educational Institutions Reporting Requirements.
1511.1 Each educational institution shall report to OHR by August 15 of each year the following information: (a) The aggregate number of incidents of bullying, retaliation, and other violations of the bullying prevention policy at the educational institution during the prior school year (including the prior summer term); (b) A brief description of each such incident (as required by § 1505.5); and (c) The results of the investigation of the incident. 1511.2 The annual report of each educational institution shall also include any other information that OHR deems necessary or appropriate and requests from the educational institution.
Non-Regulatory Guidance: School Discipline
This document provides non-regulatory guidance around discipline to support LEAs in the development of their discipline policies, including guiding principles on student discipline and equity to proactively and continuously evaluate the school's discipline policies and practices to ensure they are applied in an equitable manner through training of school staff and use of data.