School personnel may change a student's placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a student without disabilities would be subject to discipline, but for not more than 45 school days, if a special education student:
- Possesses a “dangerous weapon” or carries such a weapon to school or to a school function; or
- Knowingly possesses or uses “illegal drugs” while at school or a school function; or
- Sells or solicits the sale of a “controlled substance” while at school or a school function; or
- Inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person while at school or a school function. Serious bodily injury means a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.
Any interim alternative educational setting in which the student is placed is determined by the student’s IEP team and will:
- Be selected so as to enable the student to participate in the general curriculum, although in another setting and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP; and
- Include services and modifications designed to address the behavior or to prevent the behavior from recurring.
The district may ask an administrative law judge to order a change in placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days or seek injunctive relief through a court having jurisdiction of the parties when:
- The district can demonstrate beyond a preponderance of the evidence that maintaining said student’s current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or others;
- The district has made reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of harm in the current placement, including the use of supplementary aids and services; and
- The proposed interim alternative educational setting has been proposed by school personnel in consultation with the student’s special education teacher and meets the requirements of WAC 392-172A.
Unless the parent and the district agree otherwise, if the parents requests a hearing to challenge either the manifestation determination or the interim alternative educational setting, the student must remain in the interim alternative educational setting pending the decision of the hearing officer or until the expiration of the 45 day period, whichever occurs first.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the district may report a crime committed by a special education student to appropriate authorities. In the event of such a report, the district shall ensure that copies of the student’s special education and disciplinary records are transmitted for consideration by the appropriate authorities to whom the crime is reported; to the extent transmission of the records is permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
*See the Special Education Terms & Definitions page for more information.