OSPI BUILDING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

OSPI's building is closed to the public until further notice. OSPI will continue serving the public via phone, email, and the website.
See OSPI’s COVID-19 guidance and resources for educators, students, and families.

  • Facebook
  • OSPI on Twitter
  • OSPI Medium
  • OSPI LinkedIn
  • OSPI YouTube
  • OSPI on Flickr
  • Subscribe to OSPI GovDelivery

You are here

Home » Student Success » Support Programs » Student Discipline

Student Discipline

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.

Racial Discipline Gap Program Form Package 992 is now open in iGrants. Applications are due January 4, 2021. Information is available on the Student Discipline Training webpage.

OSPI Discipline in Schools: A Parent Guide

Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) Discipline in Washington State K-12 Public Schools: A Handbook for Families

Student Discipline Laws

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.

Student Discipline Data

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.

Reporting

Student Discipline Task Force

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).

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).

Resources

Student Discipline Training

In accordance with RCW 28A.415.410, OSPI is developing a training program to support the implementation of discipline policies and procedures. Districts are strongly encouraged to provide OSPI’s training program to all staff who interact with students, particularly following any substantive changes to discipline policies and procedures. WAC 392-400-110(3) requires districts to ensure employees are knowledgeable of the district’s discipline policies and procedures.