Student Discipline

Proposed Student Discipline Rules | Chapter 392-400 WAC

OSPI is proposing substantial changes to Chapter 392-400 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). This chapter provides rules for how a public school district may administer student discipline, including notice for parents and due process protections for students who are suspended or expelled.

Over the past nine months, OSPI has undertaken a rulemaking initiative intended to comprehensively re-write the student discipline rules for the purpose of improving their clarity and readability, clarifying requirements in House Bill 1541 (2016), and increasing opportunities for families to participate in the development of discipline policies and in resolving discipline-related issues. On September 6, 2017, OSPI filed its first proposed revisions to Chapter 392-400 WAC. Following a public comment period, including public hearings held across the state, OSPI made several revisions to the proposed rules. The supplemental revised rules, filed on February 21, 2018, substantially differed from the initial proposal; accordingly, OSPI reopened the rulemaking proceedings for further comments, holding public hearings in Tukwila, Olympia, and Spokane.

OSPI has carefully reviewed all of the written and oral comments we received over the rulemaking period. Based on those comments, OSPI is proposing to make further revisions to the student discipline rules and will be reopening the proceedings for public comment on the new proposed revisions. These revisions include, among other things, proposed modified effective dates that are intended to provide school districts ample time to implement new due process procedures, and to give districts, parents, teachers, and communities an opportunity to work together to develop appropriate local policies and become familiar with the new student discipline rules.

Proposed rules

Official OTS Copy | PDF Version (ADA Accessible)

PDF Version with Redlined Revisions (ADA Accessible) Note: This version shows the proposed revisions to the supplemental revised rules that were filed on February 21, 2018. Lined-out phrases are proposed deletions to the rules, and underlined phrases are proposed new language to the rules.

Written Comments

OSPI welcomes and encourages comments on the proposed supplemental revisions. Please submit written comments to Dierk Meierbachtol, OSPI Chief Legal Officer, by July 17, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.

Dierk Meierbachtol, Chief Legal Officer
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
PO Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Email: DisciplineRuleComments@k12.wa.us

Public Hearing

OSPI will hold a public hearing to receive comments about the proposed supplemental revisions:

July 18, 2018 | 10:30 a.m.
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Brouillet Room
600 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Those wishing to testify should arrive by 10:30 a.m.

To arrange accommodations for persons with disabilities, please contact Kristin Murphy by July 10, 2018, at 360-725-6133 or TTY 360-664-3631, or by email at Kristin.Murphy@k12.wa.us.

For language interpreter services, please contact Jennifer Stevens by July 10, 2018, at 360-725-6162 or TTY 360-664-3631, or by email at equity@k12.wa.us.



Highlights of the Proposed Rules

The following information provides a summary of the supplemental revisions to the student discipline rules.

Effective dates
To provide ample time for school districts to implement new due process procedures, train school personnel, and engage with parents, teachers, and communities to develop appropriate local student discipline policies, OSPI is proposing the following new effective dates:

The following current rules will remain effective, as amended, for the 2018-19 school year only:

  • WAC 392-400-225 (School district rules defining misconduct—Distribution of rules)
  • WAC 392-400-230 (Persons authorized to impose discipline, suspension, or expulsion upon students)
  • WAC 392-400-233 (Absences, tardiness, and school meals)
  • WAC 392-400-235 through 392-400-285 (Discipline, short-term and long-term suspensions, and expulsions)
  • WAC 392-400-295 through 392-400-305 (Emergency expulsions)
  • WAC 392-400-310 through 392-400-320 (Long-term suspension and expulsion appeals)
  • WAC 392-400-410 (Appeal for extension of an expulsion)

The following proposed rules will be effective starting in the 2018-19 school year:

  • WAC 392-400-010 (Purpose)
  • WAC 392-400-015 (Authority)
  • WAC 392-400-020 (Application)
  • WAC 392-400-023 (Definitions)
  • WAC 392-400-330 and 392-400-335 (Classroom exclusions)
  • WAC 392-400-610 (Educational services)
  • WAC 392-400-710 (Reengagement)
  • WAC 392-400-805 (Fundamental rights)
  • WAC 392-400-810 (Exceptions for the purposes of protecting victims)
  • WAC 392-400-815 (Behavior agreements)
  • WAC 392-400-820 (Firearm exceptions)
  • WAC 392-400-825 (Corporal punishment, restraint, and isolation)
  • WAC 392-400-830 (School meals)

The following proposed rules will become effective starting in the 2019-20 school year:

  • WAC 392-400-025 (Definitions)
  • WAC 392-400-110 (Discipline policies and procedures)
  • WAC 392-400-430 through 392-400-480 (Suspensions and expulsions)
  • WAC 392-400-510 through 392-400-530 (Emergency expulsions)

Classroom exclusion
The definition of classroom exclusion is revised to clarify that a classroom exclusion does not include actions that result in missed instruction for a brief duration when (a) a teacher or other school personnel attempts other forms of discipline to support the student in meeting behavioral expectations, and (b) the student remains under the supervision of the teacher or other school personnel during such brief duration. WAC 392-400-023 and 392-400-025

Emergency expulsions
The proposed rules are revised to authorize the use of emergency expulsions in situations where a student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process. The revision also clarifies that an “immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process” means (a) the student’s behavior results in an extreme disruption of the educational process that creates a substantial barrier to learning for other students across the school day, and (b) school personnel have exhausted reasonable attempts at administering other forms of discipline to support the student in meeting behavioral expectations. WAC 392-400-025 and 392-400-510 through 392-400-530

Educational services
The proposed rules are revised to remove language regarding the administrative transfer of students. The proposed rules are further revised to provide that, during a suspension, expulsion, or emergency expulsion, school districts must provide students the opportunity to receive educational services that enable the student to (a) continue to participate in the general education curriculum; (b) meet the educational standards established within the district; and (c) complete subject, grade‐level, and graduation requirements. In addition, the proposed rules are revised to incorporate the language of RCW 28A.600.020(7). WAC 392-400-610

End date of suspensions and expulsions
The proposed rules are revised to clarify that if a school district enrolls a student in another program or course of study during a suspension or expulsion, the district may not preclude the student from returning to the student’s regular educational setting following the end date of the suspension or expulsion, unless (a) the school district superintendent or designee grants a petition to extend a student’s expulsion; (b) the student is excluded from the student’s regular educational setting for the purpose of protecting victims of certain offenses; or (c) the student is otherwise precluded under law from returning to the student’s regular educational setting. WAC 392-400-430

Suspensions and expulsions administered by another school district
The provision in the proposed rules regarding long-term suspensions and expulsions administered by another school district is removed.

Exceptions for the purpose of protecting victims
A new section is added to clarify that, in accordance with RCW 28A.600.460, a school district may preclude a student from returning to the student’s regular educational setting following the end date of a suspension or expulsion for the purpose of protecting victims of certain offenses. WAC 392-400-810

School meals
The rules are revised to incorporate the provision under the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act providing that a school district may not administer discipline in a manner that would result in the denial or delay of a nutritionally adequate meal to a student. WAC 392-400-830

 

   Updated 6/22/2018

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