Lake Washington School District (LWSD) was accepted today into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking K-12 school districts organized by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization with the mission to accelerate innovation in education and improve the opportunity to learn for all through technology and research.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
One of the primary responsibilities of the Lake Washington School District and its staff shall be the development of an understanding and appreciation of our representative form of government, the rights and responsibilities of the individual, and the legal processes whereby necessary changes are brought about.
The school is a community and the rules and regulations of the school are the laws of that community. The school has the responsibility of protecting the rights of all individuals in the school community, and all those enjoying the rights of citizenship in the school community must accept the responsibilities of their citizenship by obeying the rules and regulations.
Recent court decisions have indicated clearly that young people in the United States have the right to receive a free, public education and the deprivation of that right may occur only for just cause and in accordance with due process of law.
The courts also have stated that students have the right to citizenship as delineated in the United States Constitution and its amendments; and these rights may not be abridged, obstructed, or in other ways altered except in accordance with due process of law. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States prohibit states from unduly infringing on the rights of speech and expression. In the school setting, this restriction on state action limits the manner and extent to which schools may limit the speech and expression of the students. In order to have a secure and suitable atmosphere in which students can pursue their educational process in a social environment, it is necessary to have rules that regulate social behavior. School authorities have the responsibility to demonstrate the need for such rules and the responsibility to enforce these rules.
Parents, administrators, and teachers have rights and duties. Parents are compelled by law to send their children to school; they share with the administrators and teachers the responsibility of establishing the best possible environment for learning.
The rights, responsibilities, and regulations delineated in this document are designed to protect all members of the educational community in the exercise of their freedoms.
School District Rules Defining Misconduct
The Lake Washington School District has the responsibility to adopt, publish, and make available to all students and parents written rules which state types of misconduct for which discipline, suspension, and expulsion may be imposed.
Procedures for administering corrective action shall be developed and reviewed periodically.
The Lake Washington School District provides for the development of, with parent and community participation, written procedures for administering corrective action at each school. The district also provides that the principal, parents, and certificated employees in each school building shall confer at least annually for the purpose of developing, or reviewing, or both, building discipline standards and the uniform enforcement of those standards.
Rules established by the Lake Washington School District have a real and substantial relationship to the lawful maintenance and operation of the school district including, but not limited to, the preservation of health and safety of students and employees and the preservation of an educational process which is conducive to learning.
Distribution of School District Rules
The Lake Washington School District shall publish and make available to all students and parents, on an annual basis, the rules that establish types of misconduct for which discipline, suspension, or expulsion may be invoked. In addition, the written procedures of the district for administering corrective action shall be provided by each school.
If the school district chooses not to distribute such rules to all students and parents, then notice which describes the contents of such rules and specifies the person(s) to contact for a copy thereof shall be provided to students and parents on an annual basis in a manner reasonably calculated to come to their attention.
Persons Authorized to Impose Discipline or Emergency Removal upon Students
Each certificated teacher, each school administrator, each school bus driver, and any other school employee designated by the Board of Directors of the Lake Washington School District shall possess the authority to impose discipline or emergency removal upon a student for misconduct which violates rules of the school district established pursuant to policies approved by the Board of Directors and laws of the State of Washington.
Persons Authorized to Recommend Suspension or Expulsion
The Board of Directors of the Lake Washington School District delegates to the superintendent and/or his/her designee(s) the authority to impose suspensions and expulsions upon students for misconduct which violates rules of the school district established pursuant to policies of the Board of Directors of the District and laws of the State of Washington. Each certificated teacher and each administrator shall possess the authority to recommend suspensions and expulsions for such conduct.
Student publications produced as part of the school's curriculum or with the support of the associated student body fund are intended to serve both as vehicles for instruction and student communication. They are operated and substantively financed by the district. Student publications provide opportunities for learning experiences for students, either through journalism classes or under the direction of a faculty advisor. These publications are created primarily for the student body, but may also be circulated to other audiences. The content and editorial policy will be determined collectively by students and their advisor(s), with final authority for both content and policy invested in the building principal. Publications may be self-sustained through subscription and advertising sales, or funded through school and/or student government budgets.
Material appearing in such publications should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be controversy and dissent. Controversial issues may be presented provided that they are treated in depth and represent a variety of viewpoints. Such materials may not: be libelous, obscene or profane; cause a substantial disruption of the school, invade the privacy of others; demean any race, religion, sex, or ethnic group; or advocate the violation of the law or advertise tobacco products, liquor, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia.
The superintendent shall develop guidelines to implement these standards and shall establish procedures for the prompt review of any materials which appear not to comply with the standards.
Teachers Empowered to Exclude Disruptive Students
Notwithstanding any provision of this policy to the contrary, each teacher is empowered to exclude any student who creates a disruption of the educational process in violation of the building disciplinary standards while under the teacher's immediate supervision from his/her individual classroom and instructional or activity area for all or any portion of the balance of the school day, and up to the following two days, or until the principal or designee and teacher have conferred, whichever occurs first: provided, that except in emergency circumstances, as defined in the handbook, the teacher shall have first attempted one or more alternative forms of corrective action. Provided, further, that in no event without the consent of the teacher shall an excluded student be returned during the balance of the particular class or activity period from which the student was initially excluded.
Freedom of Expression
The free expression of student opinion is an important part of education in a democratic society. Students' verbal and written expression of opinion on school premises is to be encouraged so long as it does not substantially disrupt the operation of the school. Students are expressly prohibited from the use of vulgar and/or offensive terms in classroom or assembly settings.
The superintendent shall develop guidelines assuring that students are able to enjoy free expression of opinion while maintaining orderly conduct of the school.
Freedom of Assembly
Individual students and student organizations may meet in school rooms or auditoriums, or at outdoor locations on school grounds, to discuss, pass resolutions, and take other lawful action respecting any matter which directly or indirectly concerns or affects them, whether or not it relates to school. Such activities shall not be permitted to interfere with the normal operation of the school.
Peaceful demonstrations are permissible, though they are to be held in designated places where they shall present no hazards to persons or property and at designated times that shall not disrupt classes or other school activities.
20 U.S.C. 1232h (Hatch Amendment)
34 CFR Parts 75, 76, and 98 (1984)