Home News Center NJJN's Washington Member Transforms School Discipline for Kids

NJJN's Washington Member Transforms School Discipline for Kids

August 15, 2013
Benjamin Chambers

juvenile-justice-reform_Anne-LeeAfter releasing its Reclaiming Students report in December 2012, TeamChild, NJJN's member in Washington state, jumped into the legislative session with some key partners, including Washington Appleseed and the League of Education Voters, to transform school discipline for kids. 
After various versions of bills in both the House and Senate, a lot of persistent work by TeamChild and its partners, and compelling testimony by parents, students and community advocates, the governor signed HB 5946 into law on June 30, 2013. 
According to Anne Lee, TeamChild's Executive Director (see photo), the new law addresses several of the recommendations in TeamChild's report, specifically: 
  • ending the use of indefinite, open-ended exclusions from school;
  • requiring emergency expulsions to automatically end or be converted to another corrective action within 10 school days;
  • requiring school districts to make reasonable efforts to assist students in returning to school, including convening re-engagement meetings with students and parents to plan for each student's return;
  • directing the collection of more robust discipline data that will be cross-tabulated, disaggregated, and made publicly available; and 
  • requiring a discipline task force to develop standard definitions for discretionary disciplinary actions and investigate the provision of educational services during any period of exclusion.


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