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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Procedure 3240 - STUDENT CONDUCT

The district’s bold goal of reducing out-of-school suspensions (except when critical for student and staff safety) requires rethinking district policies and procedures in order to be successful.  The research is clear:  even one out-of-school suspension (OSS) dramatically decreases a student’s ability to graduate on time. 

I.  Notification of These Procedures
Information about these procedures, as well as the district’s expectations for students, will be published online at the start of every school year. The district’s website is the official site for the most up-to-date version of this procedure and the Student Rights & Responsibilities information.

II. Definitions

  • Behavioral violation means a student’s behavior that violates the district’s discipline policy and procedure.
  • Classroom exclusion means the exclusion of a student from a classroom or instructional or activity area for behavioral violations. Classroom exclusion does not include actions that result in missed instruction for a brief duration (fewer than 30 minutes) when the teacher or other staff is supporting the student in meeting behavioral expectations and the student is under the supervision of the teacher or other staff.  Classroom exclusion also does not include times when a student removes themselves for self-regulation or when a student is removed as outlined in their behavior plan.
  • Culturally responsive means that the plan includes knowledge of student cultural histories and contexts, as well as family norms and values in different cultures; knowledge and skills in accessing community resources and community and parent outreach; and skills in adapting instruction to students' experiences and identifying cultural contexts for individual students.
  • Discipline means any action taken by a school district in response to behavioral violations. 
  • Disruption of the Educational Process means the interruption of classwork, the creation of disorder, or the invasion of the rights of a student or group of students.
  • Emergency expulsion means the removal of a student from school because the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process.
  • Expulsion means a denial of admission to the student's current school placement in response to a behavioral violation.  An expulsion may also include denial of admission to, or entry upon, real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the district.
  • Reengagement meeting means a meeting held between the district and the student and parent/guardian to discuss how to return a long-term suspended or expelled student to an educational setting as soon as possible. 
  • Reengagement plan means a culturally responsive written plan developed between the district and a student and his/her parent/guardian, which is designed to aid the student in taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation that led to the student’s suspension or expulsion and to return the student to the educational setting as soon as possible.  Parents/guardians must have access to, provide meaningful input on, and have the opportunity to participate in the student’s reengagement plan.
  • School business day means any calendar day except Saturdays, Sundays and any federal, state or school holiday when the office of the Superintendent is open to the public for business.  A school business day ends when the Superintendent’s office closes for the day.
  • School day means any day or partial day that students are in attendance at school for instructional purposes.
  • Suspension means the denial of attendance for a behavioral violation for any single subject or class or for any partial or full schedule of subjects or classes for a stated period of time.  Suspension may also include denial of admission to, or entry upon, real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the district.
    • In-school suspension means an official suspension that is served within the school building, allowing a student to continue to access educational services.  In-school suspensions may only be short-term (maximum of 10 days).
    • Out-of-school suspension means an official suspension that is served by excluding the student from the school building, school activities, and other district properties.  Out-of-school suspensions may be either short-term or long-term.
    • Short-term suspension means suspension for any portion of a calendar day up to and not exceeding ten (10) consecutive school days.
    • Long-term suspension means a suspension that exceeds ten (10) consecutive school days.  A long-term suspension may not exceed the length of one academic term and may not be imposed for any infraction not included in this procedure in the section titled Long-Term Suspensions & Expulsions—Authorized by the State.

III. Student Discipline & Professional Judgment
The Superintendent designates school discipline matters to the building administrator. Building administrators are required to use professional judgment to determine the appropriate disciplinary sanction.  Because each situation is different, building administrators are asked to consider the following six factors when disciplining a student:

  • Consistent from day to day and from student to student;
  • Guided by appropriate classroom management strategies, including implementing PBIS with fidelity;
  • Balanced against the severity of the misconduct;
  • Appropriate to the student’s circumstances and prior behavior;
  • Fair to the student, parent/guardian, and others; and
  • Effective. 

No form of discipline will be enforced in such a manner as to prevent a student from accomplishing specific academic grade, subject or graduation requirements. The disciplinary practice of corporal punishment, defined as willfully inflicting or causing the infliction of physical pain on a student, is prohibited. Corporal punishment does not include the use of reasonable force as necessary to maintain order or to prevent a student from harming him/herself, other students, school staff, or property.  This prohibition does not limit or otherwise modify provisions around aversive interventions.

Students who commit offenses or violation of rules as defined in district policy, procedure, school rules or the current Student Rights and Responsibilities on school property, at school-sponsored events or activities, or adjacent to school premises will be subject to interventions and/or corrective action. Appropriate action will be taken by school authorities depending upon the violation and circumstances.

For the purposes of this policy and procedure, “adjacent” means all property having a common boundary with school district property.  Additionally, property bordering an area being used by the school district for a district activity is considered adjacent during the time that the property is being used by the district.   

IV.  Continuation of Educational Services
Students who have been short-term suspended are eligible to continue with their regular coursework, although if the suspension is an out-of-school suspension the student will have to complete coursework off campus.  Students who have been short-term suspended must be allowed to turn work in and not have their grades penalized solely for missing class because of a suspension. 

Students who have been long-term suspended or expelled will be allowed to continue to receive educational services, although such services will be offered in an alternative setting.  Generally, students who have been long-term suspended or expelled will be referred to the Enrollment Team for placement.  Other opportunities may include tutoring or online services.

Students who qualify for an Individual Education Plan or a Section 504 plan will be afforded the opportunity to continue to receive educational services under any type of suspension.

Educational services must enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum; meet the educational standards established within the district; and complete subject, grade-level, and graduation requirements.

When providing services under this section, the school and district must consider the input of the student, parent/guardian, and teachers; the types of additional services the student may be receiving; and any need to access technology, transportation, or other resources in order to be successful.

Students suspended or emergency expelled for up to five (5) days must receive course work and homework for all classes; access to school personnel who can offer support to keep the student on track; and an opportunity to make up any assignments or tests.

Suspensions or emergency expelled for six (6) to ten (10) days must receive course work and homework for all classes; access to school personnel who can offer support to keep the student on track; and an opportunity to make up any assignments or tests. School personnel must make a reasonable attempt to contact the student or parent/guardian within three (3) school business days, and periodically thereafter to coordinate coursework and grading between the student and teacher(s); and communicate between the student, parent/guardian and teacher(s) about the student’s academic progress.

V.  Classroom Exclusions

A teacher may exclude a student from the classroom or instructional or activity area for behavioral violations that disrupt the educational process while the student is under the teacher’s immediate supervision.  Administrators and other school personnel may also exclude a student from the classroom or instructional or activity area for behavioral violations.

In all situations, other forms of discipline must be tried first, unless the student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process.

A classroom exclusion may be for part or all of the school day in which the student was excluded. If the exclusion is to be for longer than the balance of that day, the exclusion is considered to be a suspension and all suspension rules apply.  A student may not be removed from school during a classroom exclusion; if a student is removed from school the exclusion is considered to be a suspension and all suspension rules apply.

All exclusions, including the behavioral violation that led to the exclusion, must be reported to the principal or designee as soon as reasonably possible. The student’s parent/guardian must also be notified of the exclusion as soon as reasonably possible. The notice should be in a language that the parent/guardian understands.

If the student is excluded because a student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process, the person administering the exclusion must immediately notify the principal or designee and the principal or designee must meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible and administer appropriate discipline.

All classroom exclusions, including the behavioral violation that led to the exclusion must be reported to the Superintendent.

In no event without the consent of the teacher may an excluded student return to the class during the balance of that class or activity period or up to the following two days, unless the Principal/designee and the teacher have conferred.

VI. Long-Term Suspensions & Expulsions—Authorized by the State
In 2016 the Washington state legislature made substantial changes to state laws about student discipline.  The legislature limited a school district’s ability to long-term suspend or expel a student to certain types of misconduct, and determined that all other types of misconduct would be limited to a short-term suspension.

While in general Highline Public Schools strives to keep students in school and learning in a safe and appropriate environment, there are certain times when an immediate out-of-school suspension (OSS) or expulsion is appropriate.  An OSS (short-term or long-term) or expulsion for a first offense is allowed for the offenses listed in Section XVIII at the end of this procedure.  These offenses have been identified by the state legislature as the only ones for which a student may be long-term suspended or expelled.

Prior to issuing a short-term suspension, another intervention must be attempted; prior to issuing a long-term suspension, another intervention must be considered.

VII. Other Suspensions

Schools may use short-term suspensions as a consequence when other documented interventions have not proved successful and the school believes that an out-of-school suspension is the next logical consequence for a student’s actions.  Long-term suspensions may only be used in situations involving misconduct outlined in the section titled ‘Long-Term Suspensions & Expulsions—Authorized by the State’.

Schools must attempt some type of intervention before implementing a short-term suspension.  Once an intervention has occurred, if ineffective, the following rules may be followed.

1.  Drugs or Alcohol
Students are not permitted to possess, use, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or at a school activity, including transportation.  Schools must attempt some type of intervention before implementing a short-term suspension under these rules.  Once an intervention has occurred, if ineffective, the following suspension rules may be followed. 

A. Students who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  “Under the influence of” is the act of being physically intoxicated or high while on campus, school transportation, or in a location being used for a school purpose.

a. First offense— one (1) day suspension.

b. Subsequent offenses—Up to five (5) days of suspension.  Student must show proof of a drug/alcohol assessment appointment at a certified drug/alcohol treatment facility and agree to follow any treatment plan that is recommended.  Students may be readmitted to school with proof of an appointment—completing the assessment or treatment is not a requirement for returning to school.

c. In all instances, the school should immediately contact the student’s parent/guardian and request a conference.

B. Students who are in possession of drug/alcohol paraphernalia.  “In possession of paraphernalia” means a student has in his or her possession, including in the student’s locker; in an item controlled by the student, such as a backpack, book bag, music instrument case, or athletic equipment bag; or cached on campus, school transportation, or in a location being used for school purposes, items used in the creation or distribution of drugs or alcohol.  “Paraphernalia” can include but is not limited to items such as pipes, scales, bags, diluents, adulterants, needles or syringes, capsules or testing equipment.  Prior to administering any type of discipline or suspension the school administrator should take into account other logically relevant factors, including the student’s explanation of why he or she has the paraphernalia, prior violation of this or other drug/alcohol related prohibitions, and direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of the owner.  If the school administrator determines that the paraphernalia was intended to be used with drugs or alcohol, the school administrator may suspend the student.

a. First offense— one (1) day of suspension.

b. Subsequent offense—Greater than one (1) day suspension, but not exceeding the remainder of the current semester.  Length of time should depend on the variables involved in the specific situation.

c In all instances, the school should immediately contact the student’s parent/guardian and request a conference.

C. Students in possession of drugs or alcohol.  “In possession of drugs or alcohol” means the student has possession of drugs or alcohol either on the student’s person; in the student’s locker; in an item controlled by the student, such as a backpack, book bag, music instrument case, or athletic equipment bag; or that the student has cached on drugs or alcohol on campus, school transportation, or in a location being used for school purposes.

a. First offense— one (1) day of suspension.  Student must show proof of a drug/alcohol assessment appointment at a certified drug/alcohol treatment facility and agree to follow any treatment plan that is recommended.  Students may be readmitted to school with proof of an appointment—completing the assessment or treatment is not a requirement for returning to school.  The school should immediately contact the student’s parent/guardian and request a conference.

b. Subsequent offense—Greater than one (1) day suspension, but not exceeding the remainder of the current academic term.  Length of time should depend on the variables involved in the specific situation.

 i.      Student must show proof of a drug/alcohol assessment appointment at a certified drug/alcohol treatment facility and agree to follow any treatment plan that is recommended.  Students may be readmitted to school with proof of an appointment—completing the assessment or treatment is not a requirement for returning to school.

 ii.      The school should immediately contact the student’s parent/guardian and request a conference.

 

D.     Students found distributing drugs/alcohol shall be immediately emergency expelled.  Distributing drugs or alcohol means that a student is exchanging drugs or alcohol with another person for something of value.  “Distribution” does not include students using drugs or alcohol together unless something of value has been exchanged. Emergency expulsions must be converted to another form of discipline within 10 days; administrators should take into account the circumstances of the specific situation when deciding how to convert the emergency expulsion.

 2.  Safety

Students may be suspended for safety reasons in cases where the student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or poses an immediate and continuing threat of substantial disruption of the class, subject, activity, or educational process of the student’s school. The length of suspension for a safety reason should take into account the specific circumstance and should be narrowly tailored to bring the student back into school as soon as possible.

 3.  Other Violations of School or District Rules

Students may be suspended for other violations of district rules, as outlined in the discipline matrix on the website.

 VIII. Grievance and Appeal Processes

Discipline Other than Suspensions or Expulsions—Conditions, Limitations, Grievance Process

  1. Conditions and Limitations
    1. Discipline may be imposed on a student for a violation of school or district rules, but no discipline may be imposed in a way that prevents a student from accomplishing specific academic grade, subject, or graduation requirements.
  1. Grievance Process
    1. Any student or parent/guardian who is aggrieved by the imposition of discipline shall have the right to an informal conference with the school principal for the purpose of resolving the grievance. The employee whose action is being grieved shall be notified of the initiation of a grievance as soon as reasonably possible and, if appropriate, be involved in the conference. During such conference the student, parent or guardian may be questioned by school authorities and is entitled to question school personnel involved in the matter being grieved.
    2. In the event the grievance is not resolved at the building level, the student, parent or guardian, upon two school business days’ prior notice, shall have the right to present a written and/or oral grievance to the District Ombudsman.
    3. If the grievance is still not resolved, the student, parent or guardian, upon two (2) school business days' prior notice, shall have the right to present a written and/or oral grievance to either a subcommittee of the School Board or to the Board of Directors in an open public meeting. The Board shall notify the student, parent or guardian of its response to the grievance within 10 school business days after the date of the meeting. The discipline action shall continue notwithstanding the implementation of the grievance procedure set forth in this section unless the principal or his or her designee elects to postpone such action. 

Short-Term Suspension—Conditions, Limitations, Grievance Process—Applies to both In-School and Out-of-School Suspensions

"Short-term suspension" shall mean a suspension for any portion of a calendar day up to but not exceeding 10 consecutive school days.

  1. Conditions and Limitations
    1. The nature and circumstance of the violation must be considered and must reasonably warrant a short-term suspension and the length of the suspension imposed.
    2. No student shall be suspended unless another form of corrective action or punishment reasonably calculated to modify his or her conduct has previously been imposed upon the student as a consequence of misconduct of the same nature provided.
    3. Kindergarten through grade four: No students in kindergarten through grade four shall be subject to short-term suspensions for more than a total of 10 school days during any single semester or trimester, and no loss of academic grades or credit shall be imposed by reason of the suspension of such a student.
    4. Grades five and above: No student in the grade five and above program shall be subjected to short-term suspension for more than a total of 15 school days during any single semester or 10 school days during any single trimester, as the case may be.
    5. Any student subject to a short-term suspension shall be offered the opportunity to continue to receive educational services as outlined in the ‘Continuation of Educational Services’ section. 
    6. Any student who has been suspended shall be allowed to make application for readmission at any time to the Office of the Superintendent.
    7. In all cases where short-term suspensions are imposed, it is recommended that parents be contacted prior to suspending the student.
    8. All short-term suspensions and the reasons therefore must be reported in writing to the Superintendent or designee within 24 hours.
  1. Informal Initial Hearing Required
    1. Prior to the short- term suspension of any student, the principal or designee must provide the student with an opportunity for the student to contact their parent/guardian. The informal initial hearing must be conducted with the student as follows:

                                          i.    An oral or written notice of the alleged misconduct or violation of school or district rules, along with evidence and the proposed corrective action must be provided to the student.

                                         ii.    The student shall be provided with an opportunity to explain the situation. 

    1. The parent/guardian must be notified of the reason for the suspension and the duration.  The notice must be provided by a letter provided in person, or via mail or email, within one (1) school business day.  The notice must offer an informal conference and tell the parent/guardian that the suspension could be reduced as a result of the conference. The notice should be provided in the predominant language of a student and/or parents/guardians who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent feasible.
  1. Hearing Process
    1. Any student or parent/guardian who is aggrieved by the imposition of discipline action shall have the right to an informal conference with the school authorities for the purpose of resolving the grievance. The employee whose action is being grieved shall be notified of the initiation of a grievance as soon as reasonably possible and, if appropriate, be involved in the conference. During such conference, the student or parent/guardian may be questioned by school authorities and is entitled to question school personnel involved in the matter being grieved.
    2. In the event the grievance is not resolved at the building level, the student, parent or guardian, upon five (5) school business days’ prior notice, shall have the right to present a written and/or oral grievance to the District Ombudsman, who will issue a decision within two (2) school business days after hearing the grievance. 
  1. Review and Reconsideration
    1. If the grievance is still not resolved, the student, parent or guardian, upon 10 school business days' prior notice, shall have the right to request review and reconsideration by the School Board. The Board shall notify the student or parent/guardian of its response to the grievance within 10 school business days after the date of the meeting. The discipline action shall continue notwithstanding the implementation of the grievance procedure set forth in this section unless the principal or his or her designee elects to postpone such action.

Long-Term Suspension & Expulsion—Conditions, Limitations, Grievance Process

“Long-term suspension” or “expulsion” shall mean a suspension or expulsion that exceeds 10 consecutive school days but is not longer than the length of an academic term; except, an expulsion for a firearm offense is required to be one calendar year in duration.

  1. Conditions & Limitations
    1. A long-term suspension or expulsion may only be imposed for misconduct that falls within one or more of the categories listed in the section of this procedure titled ‘Long-Term Suspensions & Expulsions—Authorized by the State’. The nature and circumstances of the violation must be considered and must reasonably warrant the long-term suspension or expulsion.  
    2. No student shall be long-term suspended or expelled unless another form of corrective action or punishment reasonably calculated to modify his or her conduct has been considered.
    3. Kindergarten through grade four: No student in kindergarten through grade four shall be subject to long-term suspension or expulsion, except in the case of a firearm offense, during any single semester or trimester, and no loss of academic grades or credit shall be imposed by reason of the suspension of such a student.
    4. Any student who has been suspended or expelled shall be allowed to make application for readmission at any time to the Office of the Superintendent.
    5. All long-term suspensions and expulsions, and the reasons therefore shall be reported in writing to the Superintendent or his or her designee within twenty-four hours after the imposition of the suspension.
  1. Informal Initial Hearing Required
    1. Prior to the long-term suspension or expulsion of any student, the principal or designee must attempt to contact the parent/guardian to allow them to participate in the Informal Initial Hearing in person or via phone. The informal initial hearing must be conducted with the student as follows:

                                          i.    An oral or written notice of the alleged misconduct or violation of school or district rules, along with evidence and the proposed corrective action must be provided to the student.

                                         ii.    The student shall be provided with an opportunity to explain the situation. 

  1. Notice of Hearing/Waiver of Hearing

Prior to the long-term suspension or expulsion of a student, written notice of an opportunity for a hearing shall be delivered in person or by certified mail to the student and to his or her parent(s) or guardian(s). The notice shall:

    1. Be provided in the predominant language of a student and/or parent(s)/ guardian(s) who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent feasible;
    2. Specify the alleged misconduct and the school district rule(s) alleged to have been violated;
    3. Offer a reengagement meeting;
    4. Set forth the corrective action or punishment proposed;
    5. Set forth the right of the student and/or his or her parent/guardian to have a hearing for the purpose of contesting the allegation(s); and
  1. Prehearing and Hearing Process
    1. A written or oral request for a hearing must be received by the Superintendent’s office within five (5) school business days of the notice of suspension; and
    2. If such a request is not received within the prescribed period of time, then the right to a hearing is waived and the proposed long-term suspension or expulsion may be imposed by the school district without any further opportunity for the student or his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) to contest the matter. A schedule of "school business days" potentially applicable to the exercise of such hearing right should be included with the notice.
    3. If a request for a hearing is received within the required five (5) school business days, the school district shall schedule a hearing with a hearing officer to commence within three (3) school business days after the date upon which the request for a hearing was received, unless the student or parent/guardian agrees to a delay. The student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) shall have the right to:

                                          i.    Inspect in advance of the hearing any documentary and other physical evidence which the school district intends to introduce at the hearing;

                                         ii.    Be represented by legal counsel;

                                        iii.    Question and confront witnesses;

                                       iv.    Present his or her explanation of the alleged misconduct; and

                                         v.    Make such relevant showings by way of witnesses and the introduction of documentary and other physical evidence as he or she desires. The designee(s) of the school district assigned to present the district's case shall have the right to inspect in advance of the hearing any documentary and other physical evidence which the student and his or her parent(s)/ guardian(s) intend to introduce at the hearing.

    1. The person(s) hearing the case shall not be a witness, and the final decision regarding the imposition of corrective action shall be determined solely on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing. Either a tape-recorded or a verbatim record of the hearing shall be made. A written decision setting forth the findings of fact, conclusions, and the nature and duration of the long-term suspension or lesser form of corrective action or punishment to be imposed, if any, shall be provided to the student's legal counsel or, if none, to the student and his or her parent/guardian within five (5) business days.
  1. Review and Reconsideration

The student or parent/guardian may appeal the decision of the hearing officer to the School Board by providing written or oral notice to the Superintendent’s office within 10 school business days after the date of the hearing officer’s decision.

The School Board will provide a written decision to the student and parent/guardian within 10 school business days after receiving the request for review and reconsideration.

    1. If the appeal is not received in a timely fashion the suspension may be imposed as of the calendar day following expiration of the three school business day period.
    2. If a timely appeal is received the suspension may be imposed during the appeal period, if:

                                          i.    The suspension may be imposed during the appeal period for no more than 10 consecutive school days or until the appeal is decided, whichever is shortest.

                                         ii.    Any days that the student is suspended before the appeal is decided shall be applied to the term of the suspension and shall not limit or extend the student’s suspension.

                                        iii.    Any student subjected to a temporary suspension who returns to school before the appeal is decided shall be provided the opportunity to make up assignments and tests if the assignments or tests will have a substantial effect on the student’s semester or trimester grade(s) or if failure to complete the assignments would preclude the student from receiving credit for the course(s).

IX. Petition for Extension of Expulsion
The principal or designee may petition the Superintendent for authorization to exceed the length of one academic term for a student’s expulsion when warranted because of a perceived risk to public health and safety.  The petition may only be submitted after a reengagement plan has been developed and before end of the expulsion.  In the case of a firearm offense, the petition may be submitted at any time.  The petition will include:

·         A detailed description of the student’s misconduct, the school rules that were violated, and the public health or safety concerns of the district;

·         A detailed description of the student’s academic, attendance and discipline history, if any;

·         Any non-academic supports and behavioral services the student was offered or received during the expulsion;

·         The student’s academic progress during the expulsion and the educational services available to the student during the expulsion;

·         The proposed extended length of the expulsion;

·         The student’s reengagement plan

A copy of the petition will be delivered in person, or via email or mail, to the student and his/her parents/guardians in a language they can understand, if other than English.  The student and/or parents/guardians may submit a written or oral response to the petition within ten (10) school business days of receiving the petition.

The student and parent/guardian have a right to an informal conference with the Superintendent or designee to be held within five (5) school business days from the date of the notice of the petition to extend.

The student and parent/guardian may respond orally or in writing to the Superintendent or designee within five (5) school business days from the date of the notice of the petition to extend.

The Superintendent must deliver a written decision to the principal, the student, and the student’s parent/guardian in person, or via mail or email within 10 school business days after receiving the petition.  The Superintendent, in their discretion, may grant the petition if evidence exists that if a student were to return at or before 90 school days, he/she would pose a risk to public health or safety. The written decision will include a description of rights and procedures for appeal.

The student and/or parent/guardian may appeal the decision to the School Board within 10 school business days of receiving the Superintendent’s decision.  The appeal of a Superintendent’s decision to extend an expulsion shall follow the same procedures as the initial expulsion.

X.  Emergency Expulsion

An emergency expulsion is the removal of a student from school because the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process.

  1. Limitations
    1. A student may be emergency expelled immediately by school administration in emergency situations: PROVIDED, such official has sufficient reason to believe that the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel or an immediate and continuing threat of substantial disruption of the educational process. All emergency expulsions must end or be converted to another form of corrective action within 10 school days from the date of removal from school.  If the emergency expulsion is converted to another form of corrective action, a notice outlining the new corrective action and providing due process rights must be provided.
       
  2. Emergency Expulsion - Notice Of Hearing - Waiver Of Hearing Right
    1. After an emergency expulsion the school must attempt to notify the student’s parents as soon as reasonably possible, regarding the reason the school feels an emergency expulsion is justified.
    2. The student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be notified within 24 hours in person, by mail, or by email of the emergency expulsion of the student and of their opportunity for a hearing.  The notice will:

                                          i.    Be provided in the predominant language of a student and/or parent/guardian who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent feasible;

                                         ii.    Specify the alleged reason(s) for the emergency expulsion, including why the student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to students or staff, or poses an immediate and continuing threat of disruption to the educational process;

                                        iii.    Set forth the dates on which the emergency expulsion will start and end;

                                       iv.    Include information about the student’s and parent’s/guardian’s right to an informal conference with the principal or designee;

                                         v.    Set forth the right of the student and/or his or her parent/guardian to appeal the emergency expulsion

    1. A written or oral request for a hearing must be received by the Superintendent’s office within three (3) school business days of the date of the notice of suspension; and
    2. If such a request is not received within prescribed period of time, then the right to a hearing is waived and the emergency expulsion may be continued as deemed necessary by the school district without any further opportunity for the student or his or her parent/guardian to contest the matter.
    3. A schedule of "school business days" potentially applicable to the exercise of all hearing rights should be included with the notice.
       
  1. Emergency Expulsion - Prehearing and Hearing Process
    1. If a request for hearing within the required three (3) school business days is received, the school district shall immediately schedule and give notice of a hearing to commence as soon as reasonably possible and in no case later than the 2nd school business day after receipt of the request for hearing unless the student and parent/guardian agree to a delay. The student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) shall have the right to:

                                          i.    Inspect in advance of the hearing any documentary and other physical evidence which the school district intends to introduce at the hearing;

                                         ii.    Be represented by legal counsel;

                                        iii.    Question and confront witnesses;

                                       iv.    Present his or her explanation of the alleged misconduct; and

                                         v.    Make such relevant showings by way of witnesses and the introduction of documentary and other physical evidence as he or she desires. The designee(s) of the school district assigned to present the district's case shall have the right to inspect in advance of the hearing any documentary and other physical evidence that the student and his or her parent(s)/ guardian(s) intend to introduce at the hearing.

    1. The person(s) hearing the case shall not be a witness, and the final decision regarding the imposition of corrective action shall be determined solely on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing. Either a tape-recorded or a verbatim record of the hearing shall be made. Within one (1) school business day after the date upon which the hearing concludes, a decision as to whether or not the expulsion shall be continued shall be rendered, and the student's legal counsel or, if not, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall be notified of the decision in person, by mail, or by email. The decision shall set forth the findings of fact, the conclusions (including a conclusion as to whether or not the emergency situation giving rise to the emergency expulsion continues), and whether or not the emergency expulsion shall be continued or a lesser form of corrective action or punishment is to be imposed.
       
  1. Review & Reconsideration
    1. The student or parent/guardian may request that the School Board review and reconsider the hearing officer’s decision.  The request for review and reconsideration must be received by the Superintendent’s office within five (5) school business days from the date of the hearing officer’s decision. 
    2. The School Board will issue a written decision in person, by mail, or by email within five (5)school business days and will identify:

                                          i.    Whether the School Board affirms or denies the hearing officer’s decision; and

                                         ii.    Whether to end the emergency expulsion or convert it to a suspension or expulsion.

 

XI. Re-Engagement Meetings and Plan
Schools are required to hold a re-engagement meeting for students who have been long-term suspended or expelled, to discuss a plan to reengage the student in a school program.  The meeting should be held within 20 days of the long-term suspension or expulsion, but must be held not less than five (5) days before the student’s reentry or enrollment.

The district must create a plan tailored to the student’s individual circumstances, including consideration of the incident that led to the student’s long-term suspension or expulsion. The plan should aid the student in taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation that led to the suspension or expulsion.  Additionally, the district will take reasonable steps to develop the plan with the participation and input of the student and his/her parents/guardians to ensure that it is culturally sensitive and culturally responsive.

When developing the reengagement plan the school or district should consider the nature and circumstances that led to the suspension or expulsion; student cultural history and context, family cultural norms and values, community resources, and community and parent outreach; shortening the length of time that the student is suspended or expelled; providing supports to keep the student  engaged and on track to graduate; and supporting the student, parent/guardian, or school personnel to remedy the circumstances that resulted in the suspension or expulsion and preventing similar actions from reoccurring.  A reengagement meeting does not replace a petition for readmission.

 XII. Readmission Process
Any student who has been suspended or expelled will be allowed to apply for readmission at any time.  If a student desires to be readmitted to any school in the district, including the school from which he/she has been suspended or expelled, he/she must submit a written application to the Office of the Superintendent.  The application must include:

·         Reasons the student wants to return and why the request should be considered;

·         Evidence that supports the request; and

·         A supporting statement from the parent or others who may have assisted the student

 XIII. Return to School

While the assumption is that most students will return to their original school after their suspension or expulsion ends, there are some instances where a student will not be allowed to return to their original school.

Students who commit an offense under RCW 28A.600.460(2) against a teacher will not be returned to the teacher’s classroom or to any other school where that teacher is assigned.

Students who commit an offense under RCW 28A.600.460(3) against another student will not be returned to the victim’s classroom or to a school where the victim is enrolled.

XVI. Behavior Agreements

The school or district may enter into behavior agreements with students and parents/guardians in response to behavior violations, including agreements to reduce the length of suspensions conditioned on the participation in treatment services, agreements in lieu of suspension or expulsion, or agreements holding a suspension or expulsion (except an expulsion for a firearm) in abeyance.

A behavior agreement under this policy and procedure may not exceed the length of an academic term and may not preclude a student from participating in a reengagement meeting.

The school or district may administer discipline for behavioral violations that occur after entering into a behavior agreement.

 XV. Meals

No discipline may be administered in a manner that results in a student having a meal delayed or denied.

 XVI. Discipline of Students who Qualify for Special Education Services

Students who qualify for special education services can be disciplined under the same rules as all students, with the modifications listed below as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and relevant state laws.

  1. Short-term suspensions or emergency expulsions: The general rules relating to school-based discipline or responses, short-term suspensions, or emergency expulsions apply to students who qualify for special education services when the action taken or proposed does not exceed 10 consecutive school days, or when the action taken or proposed does not constitute a pattern of removal from the school.  Educational services will be provided to the same extent that services are provided to students without disabilities.

 

  1. Long-term suspensions or expulsions: If the recommended disciplinary action for a student who qualifies for special education services is a long term suspension or expulsion, or if the removals from school constitute a pattern of removal that adds up to more than 10 days in the school year, a manifestation determination meeting must be held prior to imposing the disciplinary action but not later than 10 days after imposing the disciplinary action.

 

  1. Manifestation Determination Meeting: A manifestation determination meeting is held to determine whether the student’s conduct is caused by or is the result of the student’s disability or whether the student’s conduct is the result of an inappropriate placement.
    1. The student’s regular Individual Education Plan (IEP) team members should participate in the meeting.
    2. If the conduct is not determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability and is not the result of an inappropriate placement, the student may be disciplined like any other student, and the team should determine which educational services should be provided during the time of removal.
    3. If the conduct is a manifestation of the student’s disability then an IEP meeting must be held to determine the services that should be offered in order to provide a free and appropriate public education.
    4. If the conduct is determined to be the result of an inappropriate placement an IEP meeting must be held to discuss alternative placements for the student.
       
  2. Interim Alternative Educational Setting: A student who qualifies for special education may be placed in an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) without a change of placement in the IEP or without a court order for (1) up to 10 days; or (2) up to 45 days if the student carries a gun or other dangerous weapon or sells or distributes illegal drugs on school property or on school sponsored transportation or a school function; or causes severe injury to another person.
  1. Behavior Plans: A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) must be established for students whose behavior negatively impacts their ability to reach their educational goals. The plan should prescribe specific disciplinary procedures for the student and may include removal from school for specified amounts of time as part of the IEP. Either school personnel or the parent may request a new IEP meeting and review of the BIP if either finds that the plan is not satisfactory or is in need of revision.
  1. Educational Obligations to a Student Pending Hearing: From the time a parent/guardian initiates a due process hearing through the appeal process, Highline Public Schools is required to providing educational services to a student who qualifies for special education, although those services may not be provided within the school setting.

 XVII. 504 Discipline Plans

Section 504 protects disabled students from being improperly removed from school for misconduct that is related to their disability. As a general rule, Section 504 and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) apply to the disciplinary removal of disabled students in a similar manner.

Disciplinary actions that exclude a student for more than 10 consecutive days or create a pattern of exclusion from school (as described in the 504 manual) require that the district evaluate the student to determine whether the student’s misconduct is either related to his or her disability or due to an inappropriate placement. This type of evaluation is commonly called a “manifestation determination.”

If a disabled student’s misconduct is a manifestation of his or her disability, a district cannot implement a disciplinary action that constitutes a significant change in placement. If a disabled student’s misconduct is not a manifestation of his or her disability, a district can discipline the student in the same manner that it disciplines non-disabled students for the same misconduct.

Under Section 504, unlike IDEA, a district does not have to provide a disabled student with educational services during the period of time the student is properly removed from school for disciplinary reasons. For more detailed procedures, see the District’s 504 manual at www.highlineschools.org/504.

 

XVIII. Offenses Eligible for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion

 A.    Bringing a firearm onto school property, school transportation, to a school event activity, or to other school-district owned property, in violation of RCW 28A.600.420, will result in an automatic one-calendar-year expulsion

a.    If this occurs, school authorities should notify local law enforcement about the expulsion, as well as the student’s parent/guardian.

b.    The Superintendent and the student placement office must be notified of any expulsion within 24 hours of the incident.

B.    Any of the following offenses listed in RCW 13.04.155, including

a.    Any violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, including

                                          i.    Any felony that Washington law defines as a class A felony or an attempt, criminal conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a class A felony;

                                         ii.    Manslaughter;

                                        iii.    Indecent liberties committed by forcible compulsion;

                                       iv.    Kidnapping;

                                         v.    Arson;

                                       vi.    Assault in the second degree;

                                      vii.    Assault of a child in the second degree;

                                     viii.    Robbery;

                                       ix.    Drive-by shooting; and

                                         x.    Vehicular homicide or vehicular assault caused by driving a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or by operating a vehicle in a reckless manner

C.   Any sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, which includes any felony violation of chapter 9A.44 RCW (other than failure to register as a sex offender in violation of 9A.44.132), including rape, rape of a child, child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, indecent liberties, voyeurism, and any felony conviction or adjudication with a sexual motivation finding;

D.   Inhaling toxic fumes in violation of chapter 9.47A RCW;

E.    Any controlled substance violation of chapter 69.50 RCW;

F.    Any liquor violation of RCW 66.44.270;

G.   Any weapons violation of chapter 9.41 RCW, including having a dangerous weapon at school in violation of RCW 9.41.280 (information on weapons in schools can be found at http://www.k12.wa.us/Safetycenter/Weapons/default.aspx);

a.    RCW 9.41.280 prohibits nun-chu-ka sticks, throwing stars, air guns/pistols/rifles that are designed to propel a projectile; a portable device manufactured to function as a weapon and which is commonly known as a stun gun, including a projectile stun gun which projects wired probes that are attached to the device that emit an electrical charge designed to administer to a person or an animal an electric shock, charge, or impulse; or a device, object, or instrument which is used or intended to be used as a weapon with the intent to injure a person by an electric shock, charge, or impulse.

b.    RCW 9.41.250 further defines as a “dangerous weapon” any device known as a slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife.

c.     If a student is expelled under this section school authorities should notify local law enforcement about the expulsion, as well as the student’s parent/guardian.

d.    The Superintendent and the student placement office must be notified of any expulsion within 24 hours of the incident.

H.   Any violation of chapter 9A.36 RCW, including assault, malicious harassment, drive-by-shooting, reckless endangerment, promoting a suicide attempt, coercion, assault of a child, custodial assault, and failing to summon assistance for an injured victim of a crime in need of assistance;

I.      Any violation of chapter 9A.40, including kidnapping unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference, luring, and human trafficking;

J.     A violation of chapter 9A.46 RCW, including harassment, stalking, and criminal gang intimidation; and

K.    Any violation of chapter 9A.48 RCW, including arson, reckless burning, malicious mischief, and criminal street gang tagging and graffiti

L.    Two or more violations of the following within a three-year period:

a.    Criminal gang intimidation in violation of RCW 9A.46.120

b.    Gang activity on school grounds in violation of RCW 28A.600.455

c.     Willfully disobeying school administrative personnel in violation of RCW 28A.635.020; and

d.    Defacing or injuring school property in violation of RCW 28A.635.060

M.   Any student behavior that adversely affects the health or safety of other students or educational staff.

Highline School District 401
Approved by the Superintendent:  August 28, 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 3.88;10.89;1.90; 2.93; 7.93; 10.96; 6.99; 6.06; 4.11; 9.14; 4.15; 6.17; 8.18; 8.19