Policy Note: In 2021 the State Legislature passed HB 1214, which made substantial changes to training and reporting requirements for district Safety & Security staff. This policy is now required before Safety & Security staff can work in buildings where students are present. The role of the Safety & Security department, and the question of whether to have School Resource Officers (law enforcement) in schools is an ongoing conversation with students, schools, families, and our community. It is expected that this policy will be reviewed and revised during the 2021-2022 school year based on the outcome of these conversations.
The Highline Public Schools Board of Directors believes that student safety is important and that safe and supportive educational environments are a key element to student success. The Board also recognizes the reality of the school-to-prison pipeline and that disproportionality exists in school discipline and within the law enforcement environment.
However, the Board also believes that well-trained Safety & Security staff, who have been hired because of their interest in student success and well-being, and trained in areas such as restorative practices, equity, adolescent brain development, and student rights, can and do help create a positive school environment.
It is important that our schools, students, family and the community are aware of the role that Safety & Security staff play in schools,and understand the complaint process that can be used if necessary.
To that end, in the 2021-2022 year, the district will begin a new program with the Safety & Security department that will include:
- Full compliance with the new training requirements set out in Chapter 28A.310 RCW and outlined in Procedure 4311P
- Data reporting as required by Chapter 28A.320 RCW and as outlined in Procedure 4311P
- Discussions with students about the role and responsibilities for Safety & Security staff, and sending similar information to families
For the 2021-2022 school year the definition of Safety & Security staff means staff employed by Highline Public Schools in the role of Director of Safety & Security, Campus Security Officer, School Security Officer, Weekend Security Officer, and any other staff as identified by the Director of Safety & Security. School Resource Officers (SRO) are not currently a part of the District’s Safety & Security team; this policy will be updated if SROs are added at any time.
The purpose of the Highline Safety and Security program is to improve school safety and the educational climate at our schools. Safety and Security staff shall be integrated into the school community through participation in faculty and student meetings, assemblies, and other activities, as appropriate. They support a positive school climate by developing positive relationships with students, families, staff, and the wider school community and by helping to promote a safe, inclusive, and positive learning environment. Safety and Security staff are valuable team members of School Based Threat Assessment Teams, which are preventative in purpose. They are encouraged to participate consistent with Policy and Procedure 3225 – School Based Threat Assessment.
The primary responsibility for maintaining proper order and conduct in the schools resides with school principals/designee, with the support of other school staff. Principals or their designee maintain order and handle all student discipline matters consistent with Policy and Procedure 3240 Student Conduct.
Requests for Intervention
Teachers and school administrators may ask safety and security staff to intervene if a student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to themselves or others or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational environment. Safety and security staff do not need to be asked before intervening in emergencies.
Complaint Resolution Process
The district recognizes the importance of establishing a simple and effective means for resolving concerns that may arise related to safety and security staff. The following complaint resolution system will address concerns regarding safety and security staff, provide for the investigation of complaints, and provide for timely communication of the resolution of the complaint to the complainant.
The complaint resolution system shall allow parents and guardians and adult students to submit complaints. A complaint shall mean a written claim by a parent or guardian or adult student that alleges improper conduct by safety and security staff that has directly aggrieved them.
The following procedure has been established for resolving a written complaint filed by a parent or guardian or adult student. If a member of law enforcement is the subject of the complaint the officer’s supervisor should be brought into the complaint process.
The parent or guardian or adult student will present the complaint in writing to the school principal/designee within 15 school days of the action or incident that gave rise to the complaint. The written statement of the complaint will contain:
- The facts upon which the complaint is based as the parent or guardian or adult student who is filing the complaint sees them;
- A reference to the policies/procedures of the district which have allegedly been violated; and
- The remedies sought.
Failure to submit a written complaint within the timeline specified will result in waiver of the complaint.
If a written complaint is filed in compliance with the timeline specified above, the parent or guardian or adult student will discuss this complaint with the school principal/designee. A sincere effort will be made to resolve the complaint at this level. If the parent or guardian or adult student does not appeal the complaint to the superintendent/designee in writing within 10 school days meeting with the school principal/designee, the complaint will be waived.
If the parent or guardian or adult student does appeal the complaint to the superintendent/designee in writing within 10 school days of the meeting between the parent or guardian or adult student and the school principal/designee, the superintendent/designee will, within 10 school days of the receipt of the complainant’s written appeal, meet with that parent or guardian or adult student to hear their claim.
The superintendent/designee will render a decision regarding the appeal within 15 school days of the parent or guardian or adult student's meeting with the superintendent/designee. The superintendent/designee’s decision will be considered final.
All complaints will be submitted to OSPI on the timeline and in the format required by OSPI.
The Superintendent or designee may develop additional procedures to implement this policy.
District Cross References:
Substance Abuse Program Policy 2121
Suicide Prevention Policy 2145
Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students Policy 2161
Education of Students With Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Policy 2162
District Notification of Juvenile Offenders Policy 3143
School-Based Threat Assessment Policy 3225
Interviews and Interrogations of Students on School Premises Policy 3226
Student Privacy and Searches Policy 3230
Emergencies Policy 3432
Student Conduct Policy 3240
Isolation, Restraint, and Other Uses of Reasonable Force Policy 3246
Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises Policy 4316
District Relationships with Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies Policy 4310
WSSDA Cross Reference:
Safety & Security Program Policy 4311
Immigration and citizenship status – Law enforcement agency restrictions RCW 10.93.160 Reports--Duty and authority to make--Duty of receiving agency--Duty to notify--Case planning and consultation--Penalty for unauthorized exchange of information--Filing dependency petitions--Investigations--Interviews of children--Records--Risk assessment process RCW 26.44.030
Abuse or neglect of child — Duty of law enforcement agency or department of children, youth, and families — Taking child into custody without court order, when RCW 26.44.050
Information about rights — Custody without court order — Written statement required — Contents RCW 26.44.110
Child taken into custody under court order — Information to parents RCW 26.44.115
School-based threat assessment program – Model policy and procedure RCW 28A.300.640
Monitoring and data collection--Comprehensive safe school plans, student distress, and school-based threat assessment programs RCW 28A.300.645
School resource officer programs RCW 28A.320.124
Law Enforcement Contact with Juveniles – Access to Attorney SHB 1140, Chapter 328, Laws of 2021
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: August 2021
Revised by the Board: