Chapter 28A.642 RCW

DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITION

Sections

HTMLPDF 28A.642.005Findings.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.010Discrimination prohibitedDefinitions.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.020Rules and guidelines.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.030ComplianceMonitoringCompliance enforcement.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.040Individual right of action.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.050Authority of superintendent of public instructionAdministrative orders.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.060Chapter supplementary.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.070Schools established under state-tribal education compacts.
HTMLPDF 28A.642.080Transgender student policy and procedure.


Findings.

The legislature finds that in 1975 legislation was adopted, codified as chapter 28A.640 RCW, recognizing the deleterious effect of discrimination on the basis of sex, specifically prohibiting such discrimination in Washington public schools, and requiring the office of the superintendent of public instruction to monitor and enforce compliance. The legislature further finds that, while numerous state and federal laws prohibit discrimination on other bases in addition to sex, the common school provisions in Title 28A RCW do not include specific acknowledgment of the right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, nor do any common school provisions specifically direct the office of the superintendent of public instruction to monitor and enforce compliance with these laws. The legislature finds that one of the recommendations made to the legislature by the *achievement gap oversight and accountability committee created in chapter 468, Laws of 2009, was that the office of the superintendent of public instruction should be specifically authorized to take affirmative steps to ensure that school districts comply with all civil rights laws, similar to what has already been authorized in chapter 28A.640 RCW with respect to discrimination on the basis of sex.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: The "achievement gap oversight and accountability committee" was renamed the "educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee" by 2011 1st sp.s. c 21 § 33.



Discrimination prohibitedDefinitions.

Discrimination in Washington public schools on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is prohibited. The definitions given these terms in chapter 49.60 RCW apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.



Rules and guidelines.

The superintendent of public instruction shall develop rules and guidelines to eliminate discrimination prohibited in RCW 28A.642.010 as it applies to public school employment, counseling and guidance services to students, recreational and athletic activities for students, access to course offerings, and in textbooks and instructional materials used by students.



ComplianceMonitoringCompliance enforcement.

The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall monitor local school districts' compliance with this chapter, and shall establish a compliance timetable, rules, and guidelines for enforcement of this chapter.



Individual right of action.

Any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter, or aggrieved by the violation of any rule or guideline adopted under this chapter, has a right of action in superior court for civil damages and such equitable relief as the court determines.



Authority of superintendent of public instructionAdministrative orders.

The superintendent of public instruction has the power to enforce and obtain compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and guidelines adopted under this chapter, by appropriate order made pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW. The order may include, but is not limited to, termination of all or part of state apportionment or categorical moneys to the offending school district, termination of specified programs in which violations may be flagrant within the offending school district, institution of corrective action, and the placement of the offending school district on probation with appropriate sanctions until compliance is achieved.



Chapter supplementary.

This chapter is supplementary to, and does not supersede, existing law and procedures and future amendments to those laws and procedures relating to unlawful discrimination.



Schools established under state-tribal education compacts.

Nothing in this chapter prohibits schools established under chapter 28A.715 RCW from:
(1) Implementing a policy of Indian preference in employment; or
(2) Prioritizing the admission of tribal members where capacity of the school's programs or facilities is not as large as demand.



Transgender student policy and procedure.

(1)(a) By January 31, 2020, each school district must adopt or amend if necessary policies and procedures that, at a minimum, incorporate all the elements of the model transgender student policy and procedure described in subsection (3) of this section.
(b) School districts must share the policies and procedures that meet the requirements of (a) of this subsection with parents or guardians, students, volunteers, and school employees in accordance with rules adopted by the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(c)(i) Each school district must designate one person in the school district as the primary contact regarding the policies and procedures relating to transgender students that meet the requirements of (a) of this subsection. In addition to any other duties required by law and the school district, the primary contact must:
(A) Ensure the implementation of the policies and procedures relating to transgender students that meet the requirements of (a) of this subsection;
(B) Receive copies of all formal and informal complaints relating to transgender students;
(C) Communicate with the school district employees responsible for monitoring school district compliance with this chapter, and the primary contact regarding the school district's policy and procedure prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying under RCW 28A.600.477; and
(D) Serve as the primary contact between the school district, the office of the education ombuds, and the office of the superintendent of public instruction on policies and procedures relating to transgender students that meet the requirements of (a) of this subsection.
(ii) The primary contact from each school district must attend at least one training class as provided in RCW 28A.600.477, once this training is available.
(iii) The primary contact may also serve as the primary contact regarding the school district's policy and procedure prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying under RCW 28A.600.477.
(2) As required by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, each school district must provide to the office of the superintendent of public instruction its policies and procedures relating to transgender students that meet the requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section.
(3)(a) By September 1, 2019, and periodically thereafter, the Washington state school directors' association must collaborate with the office of the superintendent of public instruction to develop and update a model transgender student policy and procedure.
(b) The elements of the model transgender student policy and procedure must, at a minimum: Incorporate the office of the superintendent of public instruction's rules and guidelines developed under RCW 28A.642.020 to eliminate discrimination in Washington public schools on the basis of gender identity and expression; address the unique challenges and needs faced by transgender students in public schools; and describe the application of the model policy and procedure prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying, required under RCW 28A.600.477, to transgender students.
(c) The office of the superintendent of public instruction and the Washington state school directors' association must maintain the model policy and procedure on each agency's website at no cost to school districts.
(4)(a) By December 31, 2020, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must develop online training material available to all school staff based on the model transgender student policy and procedure described in subsection (3) of this section and the office of the superintendent of public instruction's rules and guidance as provided under this chapter.
(b) The online training material must describe the role of school district primary contacts for monitoring school district compliance with this chapter prohibiting discrimination in public schools, RCW 28A.600.477 related to the policies and procedures prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and this section related to policies and procedures relating to transgender students.
(c) The online training material must include best practices for policy and procedure implementation and cultural change that are guided by school district experiences.
(d) The office of the superintendent of public instruction must annually notify school districts of the availability of the online training material.