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Home » Student Success » Support Programs » Student Discipline

Student Discipline

Contact Information

Student Discipline

360-725-6101
Joshua Lynch
Student Discipline and Behavior Program Supervisor
360-725-4969

A school district’s discipline policies and procedures must ensure due process protections for students and should provide a continuum of equitable, culturally responsive, instructional approaches to support students and all members of the school community in meeting behavioral expectations.

Educators, parents, students, and families can find information and resources on this site related to discipline laws, data, and training.

Discipline in Schools: A Parent Guide

 

School districts in Washington are required to develop discipline policies and procedures that are consistent with Federal and State laws. Washington discipline laws include statutes in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and rules in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

Washington State student discipline laws apply to all K–12 students. However, additional protections apply for students receiving special education services. For more information about special education discipline procedures, visit OSPI's Special Education Behavior and Discipline page.

Chapter 392-400 WAC outlines due process procedures that school districts must follow when administering discipline.

Following nearly two years of study, stakeholder engagement, and formal rulemaking, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) adopted final rules that comprehensively revise 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 guardians as well as due process protections for students who are suspended or expelled.

OSPI substantially revised the state's student discipline rules for the purpose of improving the clarity and readability of the rules, 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. After three public comment periods, including eight public hearings held around the state, OSPI adopted the final student discipline rules on July 30, 2018.

Concise Explanatory Statement Note: The Concise Explanatory Statement (1) identifies OSPI's reasons for adopting the rule, (2) describes differences between the text of the proposed rule and the text of the rule as adopted, and (3) summarizes all comments received regarding the proposed rule and the agency's response to comments, including how the final rule reflects consideration of the comments.

Chapter 28A.600 RCW includes several important statutes related to student discipline and other statutes contain provisions regarding discipline in schools.

School District Policies and Procedures

  • RCW 28A.600.010: Enforcement of rules of conduct-Due process guarantees-Computation of days for short-term and long-term suspensions.
  • RCW 28A.600.015: Expulsions and suspensions-Rules incorporating due process-Short-term and long-term suspensions-Emergency expulsions-Discretionary discipline.
  • RCW 28A.600.020: Exclusion of student from classroom-Written disciplinary procedures-Long-term suspension or expulsion.
  • RCW 28A.600.022: Suspended or expelled students-Reengagement plan.
  • RCW 28A.600.410: Alternatives to suspension-Encouraged.
  • RCW 28A.600.460: Classroom discipline-Policies-Classroom placement of student offenders-Data on disciplinary actions.
  • RCW 28A.320.211: Discipline policies, procedures, and rules-Dissemination of information-Use of disaggregated data-Review.
  • RCW 28A.345.090: Model school district discipline policies-Adoption and enforcement by school districts.

OSPI Rule Making Authority

  • RCW 28A.600.015: Expulsions and suspensions-Rules incorporating due process-Short-term and long-term suspensions-Emergency expulsions-Discretionary discipline.
  • RCW 28A.600.020: Exclusion of student from classroom-Written disciplinary procedures-Long-term suspension or expulsion.

Discipline Data

  • RCW 28A.600.460: Classroom discipline-Policies-Classroom placement of student offenders-Data on disciplinary actions.
  • RCW 28A.300.042: Collection and submittal of student-level data-Student data-related reports-Disaggregation of data by subgroups-Modification of statewide student data systems.
  • RCW 28A.300.046: "Student absence from school"-Rules-Collection of attendance and discipline data.
  • RCW 28A.320.211: Discipline policies, procedures, and rules-Dissemination of information-Use of disaggregated data-Review.

 

School districts should regularly review discipline data to identify patterns and levels of disproportionality along the discipline continuum. School and district teams should integrate the use of data across multiple domains to guide equitable data-based decision-making regarding root cause analysis, student interventions, professional learning opportunities, practices, policies and systems change.

In 2013 legislation passed that significantly affected student discipline laws in Washington state. The legislation created RCW 28A.600.490, which directed OSPI to convene a discipline task force to develop:

  1. Standard definitions for causes of student disciplinary actions taken at the discretion of the school district.
  2. Data collection standards for disciplinary actions that are discretionary and for disciplinary actions that result in the exclusion of a student from school.

The data collection standards must include data about:

  • Education services provided while a student is subject to a disciplinary action.
  • The status of petitions for readmission to the school district when a student has been excluded from school.
  • Credit retrieval during a period of exclusion.
  • School dropout as a result of disciplinary action.

The task force first convened from September 2013 to December 2014. With the passage of 4SHB 1541 in the 2016 legislative session, OSPI will is reconvening the task force to:

  1. Review and recommend data collection standards related to Part I of 4SHB 1541 (Disproportionality in Student Discipline).
  2. Provide feedback regarding the revision of student discipline rules in Chapter 392-400 WAC.

Final Report of the Student Discipline Task Force, 2013–14

The task force developed standard definitions and data elements to revise the collection of student discipline data in the statewide Comprehensive Educational Data and Research System (CEDARS). In concluding their 2013–2014 body of work, the task force chose to compile their recommended revisions to CEDARS, relevant discretionary discipline issues, and related policy recommendations into a final report.

Task Force Members

Association of Washington School Principals
Commission on African American Affairs
Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
Commission on Hispanic American Affairs
Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs
K-12 Data Governance Group

League of Education Voters
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of the Education Ombuds
Team Child
Washington Association of School Administrators
Washington Education Association
Washington State School Directors' Association

Past Meeting Minutes, Agendas, and Materials

Date

Agendas

Minutes

Materials

January 10, 2017

Agenda

 

Materials

December 6, 2016

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

November 7, 2016

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

October 10, 2016

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

December 8, 2014

Agenda

 

Materials

November 10, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

September 8, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

July 14, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

May 12, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

March 10, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

January 13, 2014

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

December 9, 2013

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

November 25, 2013

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

October 17, 2013

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

September 19, 2013

Agenda

Minutes

Materials

State Discipline Data Requirements

Washington discipline laws requires school districts to review disaggregated discipline data (by student demographics and characteristics, behavior and exclusion categories, length of exclusions, etc.) when developing and periodically reviewing the district’s discipline policies and procedures—with the participation of school personnel, students, parents, families, and the community to:

  • monitor the impact of the district’s discipline policies, procedures, and practices
  • update the district’s discipline policies and procedures to improve fairness and equity in the administration of discipline.

RCW 28A.600.460: Classroom discipline—Policies—Classroom placement of student offenders—Data on disciplinary actions.

RCW 28A.600.490: Discipline task force—Development of standard definitions—Development of data collection standards—Membership—Statewide student data system revision.

RCW 28A.300.042: Collection and submittal of student—level data—Student data—related reports—Disaggregation of data by subgroups—Modification of statewide student data systems.

RCW 28A.300.046: "Student absence from school"—Rules—Collection of attendance and discipline data.

RCW 28A.320.211: Discipline policies, procedures, and rules—Dissemination of information—Use of disaggregated data—Review

WAC 392-400-110(2): Discipline policies and procedures—Development and review

Federal Discipline Data Requirements

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for school districts receiving Title I, Part A funds, the district’s plan must include how the district “will support efforts to reduce the overuse of discipline practices that remove students from the classroom, which may include identifying and supporting schools with high rates of discipline, disaggregated by […] subgroups of students” in accordance with Sec. 1112(b)(11).

Reporting

Resources

 

OSPI is developing discipline training modules in accordance with RCW 28A.415.410. The training content will be made available in increments and enhanced over time. The training addresses best practices and laws related to student discipline within the context of Washington K–12 educational settings.

Purpose: To support implementation of discipline policies and procedures under WA State law.

Audience: All school and district staff who interact with students, including instructional staff and non-instructional staff.

    Behavior Menu of Best Practices and Strategies

    The Behavior Menu of Best Practices and Strategies provides resources and information to guide schools in the implementation of supportive school discipline practices.

    On August 14, 2019, OSPI hosted a webinar on administrative procedures for implementing the state’s new discipline rules. This webinar highlights the connection between research, policies, data, and best practices in school discipline. The training content is followed by a Q&A time with OSPI staff and partner organizations. This webinar, broken into sections, will be posted shortly.

    In the meantime, feel free to use the Discipline Training Administrative Procedures presentation used in the webinar. If you intend to use or modify these slides please keep the Legal Disclaimer and Training Considerations slides attached to your training materials. Also, please note that without the accompanying commentary from the training videos (to be posted soon) to provide context, these materials may be difficult to interpret. Contact Joshua Lynch for any questions about the content at 360-725-6101.  

    On August 13, 2019, OSPI hosted a webinar on classroom procedures for implementing the state’s new discipline rules. This webinar highlights the connection between research, policies, data, and best practices in school discipline. The training content is followed by a Q&A time with OSPI staff and partner organizations. This webinar, broken into sections, will be posted shortly.

    In the meantime, feel free to use the Discipline Training Classroom Procedures presentation used in the webinar. If you intend to use or modify these slides please keep the Legal Disclaimer and Training Considerations slides attached to your training materials. Also, please note that without the accompanying commentary from the training videos (to be posted soon) to provide context, these materials may be difficult to interpret. Contact Joshua Lynch for any questions about the content at 360-725-6101.

    On October 11, 2017, OSPI hosted a webinar to provide a preview of the content that will be covered in the first discipline training module. The first module will provide a foundation for understanding the connection between research, policies, and practices in student discipline. OSPI is making a recording of the webinar and related resources available online until the formal training module is formatted and complete.


    Introduction (0:00 - 5:15)


    The Purpose of Discipline in K–12 Education (5:16 - 12:07)
    Video: Every Opportunity


    The Impact of Exclusionary Discipline Practices (12:08 - 20:32)
    Key Reading: American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools?: An evidentiary review and recommendations. The American Psychologist, 63(9), 852.

    Video: School to Prison Pipeline


    Recent Laws and Public Policy (20:33 - 31:10)
    Key Reading: Mosehauer, K., McGrath, N., Nist, J., & Pilar, K. (2012). Reclaiming Students: The Educational and Economic Costs of Exclusionary Discipline in Washington State. Washington Appleseed & Team Child.

    Video: Students Speak Out About Exclusionary School Discipline


    Recent Research and Best Practices in Discipline (31:11 - 37:59)
    Key Reading: Gregory A., Bell J., & Pollock M. (2014) How Educators Can Eradicate Disparities in School Discipline: A Briefing Paper on School-Based Interventions. Discipline Disparities: A Research-to-Practice Collaborative.

    Video: Dr. Pedro Noguera: Disproportional Discipline

    Video: School ditching suspensions for conversations


    Family Engagement (38:00 - 42:22)
    Key Reading: Mapp, K.L. & Kuttner, P.J. (2013). Partners in education: A dual capacity-building framework for family-school partnerships. SEDL.

    Video: Dr. Karen Mapp Shares Advice for Educators on Family and Community Engagement Strategies

    Video: Workshop Session FWPS


    Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) (42:22 - 48:33)
    Key Reading: Green, A., Nese, R., McIntosh, K., Nishioka, V., Eliason, B., & Delabra, A. C. (2015). Key elements of policies to address discipline disproportionality: A guide for district and school teams.

    Video: Reflections on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports

    Video: PBIS: A Framework for All Schools


    Conclusion (48:33 - 52:02)

    Video: School suspensions are an adult behavior