Seattle Public Schools

School Board

Discipline Appeal Council

SPS Discipline Appeal Council

The Discipline Appeal Council is appointed by the Seattle School Board to decide appeals for certain exclusionary discipline decisions for students. This includes short-term, in-school, and long-term suspensions; expulsions; and emergency expulsions/removals.

Board Policy No. 3201, Discipline Appeal Council (DAC), outlines the process for appealing discipline decisions to the Discipline Appeal Council and requirements for Council appointments.

For more information about how appeals to this council fit into the overall discipline appeal process, see the district Discipline and Behavior webpage.

Council Composition

The Discipline Appeal Council consists of approximately nine (9) volunteers appointed to three-year terms.

Of the total membership,

  • Five (5) members are community members not employed by the district, and
  • Four (4) members are district staff, such as:
    • school administrators, teachers, and other building-based staff; central office staff; and/or School Board members

The School Board may appoint up to three alternate volunteers to serve should any vacancy arise. Alternates may also serve on the three-member panel as needed when Discipline Appeal Council members are unavailable.

District discipline data shows that racial disproportionality persists in district disciplinary responses. The district commits through School Board Policy No. 3240, Student Behavior and Disciplinary Responses, to eliminating this racial predictability and disproportionality. Therefore, the School Board will appoint a Discipline Appeal Council that is reflective of the students most impacted by district disciplinary decisions through race, ethnicity, and experience.

Role, Responsibilities, and Time Commitment

Each discipline appeal to the DAC is decided by a three-member panel drawn from the full nine-member DAC and any alternate members. The number of appeals members decide each year varies. Last year, five discipline appeals were decided, and in the prior five years, the DAC received zero to three appeals per year.

Discipline appeals must be decided on a tight timeframe under state law, with the DAC being impaneled and issuing a decision usually within about one week. Panels of members with availability and who do not have a conflict of interest will be formed for each appeal. The panel may request to meet with the appealing student, their family, and relevant staff to hear arguments and gather additional information or may decide the appeal based on the record already developed.

Under state law and board policy, DAC members must be knowledgeable about state and district discipline rules, policies, and procedures. An orientation will be provided to DAC members. DAC members will also receive training, as necessary, prior to deciding Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying (HIB) appeals from students under Superintendent Procedure 3207SP. Only a small number of these appeals have been received by the DAC in recent years.

Apply for the Discipline Appeal Committee

The School Board is accepting volunteer applications from community members and district staff interested in serving on the Discipline Appeal Council. Selected applicants will serve three-year terms running through the 2025-26 school year.

Applications will be reviewed by School Board director(s) designated by the School Board president. The designated board director(s) will recommend appointments for confirmation by the full board this fall.

To apply, submit an application online by September 12, 2023. All relevant information should be provided within the application form—additional attachments will not be accepted. Questions should be directed to the School Board Office at

Interviews may be scheduled with some or all applicants.

Submitted materials will be subject to public disclosure under the Washington State Public Records Act and may be posted publicly online with board meeting materials.