Student Conduct Expectations and Discipline

All pupils who attend the common schools shall comply with the rules and regulations established in pursuance of the law for the government of the schools, shall pursue the required course of studies, and shall submit to the authority of teachers of such schools, subject to such disciplinary action or other action as the local school officials shall determine. (RCW 28A.600.040).

Discipline: Discipline shall mean all forms of corrective action other than emergency removal from a class, subject or activity, suspension or expulsion and shall include the exclusion of a student from a class by a teacher or administrator for a period of time not exceeding the balance of the immediate class period; provided that the student is in the custody of a school district employee for the balance of such period. Discipline shall also mean the exclusion of a student from any other type of activity conducted by or on behalf of a school district. (WAC 392-400-205).

Detention: Students may be detained after school for up to 30 minutes to make up missed or incomplete assignments and for disciplinary reasons, provided parent(s)/guardian(s) have been notified. Students shall not be detained if detention interferes with their regular bus transportation home unless arrangements are made with student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) for alternative transportation.

Teacher Removal from Class: Teachers have the authority to exclude a student from the classroom (or the instructional or activity area) if the student is disrupting the educational process in violation of building disciplinary standards while under a teacher’s immediate supervision. The teacher responsible for supervising the student may exclude him/her for part of the day, the entire day or up to the following two days or until the teacher has conferred with the principal or designee, whichever occurs first. (RCW 28A.600.020). The teacher must first attempt to correct the student before excluding, except in emergency circumstances. The emergency circumstances are outlined in WAC 392-400-290, and are explained below under "emergency removal." Teachers must consent before a student may be returned during the balance of the same class or activity period from which he/she was initially excluded. (WAC 392-400-230)

Emergency Removal: A student may be removed immediately from a class, subject or activity by a certificated teacher or an administrator and sent to the building principal or a designated school authority; provided that the teacher or administrator has good and sufficient reason to believe that the student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to the student, other students or school staff or an immediate and continuing threat of substantial disruption of the class, subject, activity or educational process of the student’s school. The removal from classes, subjects, or activities shall continue only until:

  1. The danger or threat ceases; or
  2. The principal or designated school authority acts to impose corrective action. (WAC 392-400-290)
The principal or school authority shall meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible following the student’s removal and take or initiate appropriate corrective action. In no case shall the student’s opportunity for such meeting be delayed beyond the commencement of the school day following the student’s emergency removal from a class, subject or activity. Prior to or at the time any such student is returned to the class(es), subject(s), or activity(ies), the principal or school authority shall notify the teacher or administrator who removed the student about the action that has been taken or initiated.

Emergency Expulsion: Emergency Expulsion shall mean an emergency removal from school for up to, and not exceeding, 10 consecutive school days by a school district superintendent or a designee of the superintendent. The superintendent or designee must have good and sufficient reason to believe that the student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to the student, other students or school staff or an immediate and continuing threat of substantial disruption of the educational process. Emergency expulsions must end or be converted to another form of corrective action within 10 school days from the date of the emergency removal from school. Notice and due process rights will be provided when an emergency expulsion is converted to another form of corrective action (WAC 392-400-295).

Suspension: Suspension shall mean a denial of attendance (other than for the balance of the immediate class, subject or activity period for discipline purposes) at any single subject or class, or full schedule of classes or subjects, and any combination of the foregoing for a stated period of time. Suspension also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the District.

Short-Term Suspension: means a suspension, including in-school suspension, for any portion of a calendar day up to and not exceeding 10 consecutive school days.

Long-Term Suspension: means a suspension that exceeds 10 school days, but not longer than the length of an academic term, as defined by the school board. A long-term suspension will not be imposed as a form of discretionary discipline.

Expulsion: Expulsion shall mean a denial of attendance for a period of time up to, but not longer than the length of an academic term, as defined by the school board, from the time a student is removed from his her current school placement by a school district superintendent or a designee of the superintendent. An expulsion also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented or controlled by the school district. An expulsion may not be imposed as a form of discretionary discipline.

District Policy and Regulation 3240 and 3241 contain information regarding the types of student conduct that may lead to discipline, suspension, or expulsion; and student/parent appeal and grievance rights. The policy and regulation are available from the Public Information Office, 253-571-1015, on the district’s website at tacomaschools.org. To obtain a copy, you may also contact the Office of Secondary Education at 253-571-1191, or the Office of Elementary Education at 253-571-1032.