State Profile

School Discipline

State Profile - District of Columbia

School Discipline
What may a student be suspended or expelled for? Academic dishonesty
Defiant or disruptive behavior
Drug use/possession
Electronic communications policy violation
Firearm/weapon possession
Gang activity
Leaving school without permission
Physical harm or threat of physical harm
Sexual acts
D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2502
What must a student be suspended or expelled for? Activating false alarm
Contaminating food
Defiant or disruptive behavior
Destruction of property
Drug sale
Firearm/weapon possession
Sexual harassement
Tampering with an official document
Violent behavior
D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2502
Are there limitations placed on suspension or expulsion? Grade level: Students in prekindergarten may not be expelled or suspended out-of-school, with exceptions. Students in K-8 may not be suspended out-of-school, with exceptions for causing or threatening bodily injury or emotional distress. Starting in 2020-2021 school year, students in grade 9-12 may not be suspended out-of-school for violations concerning: dress code, willful defiance, or behavior off school grounds, with exceptions.
Length: Students in prekindergarten who may be suspended for cause, may not be suspended for longer than 3 days for an individual incident. Allowable suspension is 5 consecutive days for students in K-5, 10 consecutive days for students in grades 6-12 and 20 cumulative days overall, with exceptions.
Violation type: Students may not be excluded for absence, tardiness, or violations of the uniform policy.
D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2502
D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2504
D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2408
D.C. Code § 38-273.03
D.C. B22-0594 (2018)
Are there non-punitive approaches outlined as alternatives to suspension or expulsion? Non-punitive supports are available: at all stages of the disciplinary process these interventions must be utilized in addition to punitive measures--conflict resolution, positive behavior supports, restorative justice strategies and parent conferences. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-B, § 2500
Are there alternative schooling options available for students who are suspended or expelled? Yes. The Board of Education must provide expelled students an alternative education program. Suspended students must provide an education plan that allows the student to make up class, homework and tests. D.C. Code § 38-233
When is a school required to involve law enforcement in student discipline? Not specified in statute or regulation.
Is corporal punishment permitted? No. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-E, § 2401
Does the state outline reporting requirements for suspension and expulsion? Educational institutions must maintain discipline data for each student. Each local education agency must submit a report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) disaggregated by demographic categories. OSSE must create a public report of this information, including a trends analysis. D.C. Code § 38-236

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