SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction adopted new rules for student discipline over the summer.
The state made these revisions in an effort to improve clarity and increase opportunities for families to participate in resolving discipline related issues. Some of these rules were already implemented at Spokane Public Schools.
Starting this school year, there will be no long-term suspensions or expulsions for students in kindergarten through fourth grade. They can, however, be subject to short term suspension for no more than 10 days.
Students in 5th through 12th grade though, can face short term suspension for no more than 15 days any semester. Any student can still be expelled for up to a year for certain violations including bringing a firearm to school.
But, the law says other methods of discipline should be considered first. When it comes to unexcused absences or tardiness, students can no longer be suspended or expelled. They can still be subject to some discipline.
If your student is disciplined for a minor incident, new state laws say parents have the right to know about it and help find solutions. In serious discipline situations, parents also have the right to be notified early and challenge the school's decision.
If the school decides to suspend or expel a student, it must provide parents and the student a written notice about educational services the district will provide. This notice has to be done as soon as reasonably possible.
There will be additional rules phased into implementation in Spokane Public schools next school year as well.