Equity in Student Discipline
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Student Discipline

Equity in Student Discipline
Laws, Regulations, and Monitoring

Under state law, each school district and public charter school must at least annually review data on corrective and disciplinary actions taken against students within each school. Through this data review, each district and charter school must make sure that it is administering student discipline without discrimination. This data review and analysis must include, at a minimum, expulsions, emergency expulsions, short-term suspensions, and long-term suspensions disaggregated by sex, race, limited-English proficiency, and disability. WAC 392-190-048

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance in January 2014 to assist public schools in meeting their obligations to administer student discipline without discrimination.

Federal guidance provides that the administration of student discipline can result in unlawful discrimination in two ways:

  1. If a student is subjected to different treatment based on their protected class, or
  2. If a policy or practice is neutral on its face and is administered in an evenhanded manner but has a disparate impact (i.e., a disproportionate and unjustified effect) on students of a particular protected class.

Under both inquiries, statistical analysis of the impact of discipline policies and practices on particular groups of students is an important indicator of equity in student discipline and civil rights compliance.

Plan: Analyze the data and identify root causes

Do: Decide on a plan and implement

Study: Evaluate and monitor progress

Act: Adjust your plan, if necessary

Laws & Regulations: Civil Rights

Federal Guidance on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline

Chapter 28A.640 RCW (Sex Equity)

Chapter 28A.642 RCW (Nondiscrimination)

Chapter 392-190 WAC

OSPI Civil Rights Guidelines

Laws & Regulations: Due Process

Chapter 28A.600 RCW (Students)

Chapter 392-400 WAC (Student Discipline)

Monitoring & Complaints

Consolidated Program Review

Discrimination Dispute Resolution Options

Discrimination Complaints



Need assistance?

Contact the Equity and Civil Rights Office
TTY: 360-664-3631

   Updated 5/4/2015

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA    98504-7200    360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
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