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    Discipline Appeal Procedures for Emergency Expulsions

    If the emergency expulsion is the only disciplinary response on the written notice, student(s) and/or parent(s) or guardian(s) have up to ten (10) business days after receiving notice of the emergency expulsion to request an appeal hearing from the Discipline Appeals Office, 206-252-0820. According to Seattle Public Schools policy, the request for an appeal may be written (including by e-mail) or made by telephone.

    A. Timeline of the Appeal Process

    1. The appealing party must request an appeal hearing from the Discipline Appeals Office within ten (10) school business days after they receive notice of the disciplinary response or discipline being proposed.

    2. If the appeal is not received within ten (10) school business days, the emergency expulsion will continue and the student and parent(s) or guardians(s) will not have further opportunity to appeal the matter.  The request for an appeal hearing may be either written or oral, including being made by telephone.

    The Discipline Appeals Office telephone number is 206-252-0820.

    3. When the request for a hearing is received within the ten (10) day time limit, the Discipline Appeals Office will schedule a hearing to be held within three (3) school business days from the day the appeal was received.

    B. Parent/guardian/family and student rights

    Parents/guardians/families and students have certain due process rights before, during, and after their requested hearing. These rights have been approved by our state legislature and are found in WAC 392-400. Rights include but are not limited to the following:

    1. The appealing party has the right to inspect before the hearing any written or physical evidence that the school may be presenting at the hearing, including witness statements. Student names may be covered. Given the short time line for an appeal hearing, copies of written statements may not be available until twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing.

    2. The appealing party has the right to be represented by an attorney at private, not public, expense.  If an attorney represents the student at the hearing, Seattle Public Schools will have its attorney present, so it is necessary to notify the Discipline Appeals Office as soon as possible if the student becomes represented.

    3. The appealing party has the right to question witnesses.  This right may be limited when Seattle Public Schools has made a reasonable effort to produce a witness and is unable to do so, or when it is not advisable for the student to appear due to an expectation and fear on the part of the school administrator that the student might be retaliated against if she or he appears as a witness.

    4. The appealing party has the right to present his or her explanation of the alleged misconduct.

    5. The appealing party may request that witnesses who saw or have knowledge of the 6. The appealing party may present any written or physical evidence that supports their case.

    C. School’s rights before the hearing

    The school leader or other person presenting the school’s case has the right to inspect in advance of the hearing any written or physical evidence that the parent(s) or guardian(s) may be presenting at the hearing. Students and parents/guardians/families must provide sufficient copies for the school administrator of any written documentation to be provided to the hearing officer.

    D. At the Hearing

    1. The participants at the hearing will be limited to those with a relevant interest in the matter at hand, typically the school leader, the student and his/her

    parent or guardian or family, and witnesses to the incident. If the student is represented by an attorney, a District attorney also will be present to advise the school leader. Other family members or friends should not expect to attend, although the parent may have a support person present so long as that person is not also a witness.

    The hearing officer has the authority to determine who may be present.

    2. A sign-in sheet will be provided and all persons present must sign in.

    3. All persons present at a hearing must maintain respectful behavior. Expectations include refraining from shouting, name-calling, cursing, badgering of witnesses, or other bullying, intimidating or disruptive behavior.  The hearing officer may end the hearing should these behaviors be present. The hearing officer will then determine whether to reschedule the hearing for another day or make a decision based on information already presented up to that point in the hearing.

    4. If the school leader, student and parent/guardian/family agree to mediate the disciplinary response, a mediation agreement stating all particulars of the changes to be made is prepared and signed. The student and parent/guardian agree that by signing the mediation agreement all factual and legal issues related to a particular disciplinary response is final and fully resolved, and that the student and parent/guardian/family will file no further appeal related to this discipline incident. If either party decides that attempting to mediate is not appropriate for whatever reason, the hearing goes forward.

    5. Witnesses may not be allowed to be present in the hearing room except at the time they are providing testimony. When they have completed testimony, they may be asked to leave the room.

    6. Only the evidence presented at the hearing will be used by the hearing officer to make a decision. No information may be provided to the hearing officer outside of the hearing.

    7. The hearing officer will make a decision based on the following due process criteria:

    a. Preponderance of the evidence:  Did the alleged behavior occur?

    b. Student Behavior discipline:  Did the school have the right to discipline the student in the manner chosen, based on the and school rules?

    c. Are there mitigating or aggravating factors recognized by the District that the school should have taken into account in deciding whether to discipline the behavior or in choosing the disciplinary response?

    8. The hearing officer is neutral. He or she may not be a witness to the incident that resulted in discipline or testify in the hearing.

    9. The hearing will be audio recorded.

    10. The hearing officer may mediate, modify, reverse, or affirm the disciplinary response.

    The hearing officer will provide a written decision, which will be sent to the parent or guardian by certified mail within a week of the hearing date. Translation of the hearing decision into the home language of the family will be provided, at District expense.

    11. When the emergency expulsion is the only action, a decision will be given within one (1) school business day after the hearing and the student or parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified by U.S. certified mail within one (1) calendar week. E. Length of Emergency expulsions

    A student’s emergency expulsion must end or be converted to another form of disciplinary response within ten (10) school days from the date of expulsion.