BILL REQ. #: Z-0998.1
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/15/10. Referred to Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
AN ACT Relating to gang and hate group activity on school grounds and at school activities; amending RCW 28A.225.225 and 28A.600.455; and adding a new section to chapter 28A.635 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 A new section is added to chapter 28A.635
RCW to read as follows:
(1) The legislature finds that gang and hate group activity on school grounds and at school activities places staff and students at risk of intimidation and violence, can create a hostile school atmosphere, and interferes with the educational mission of schools. The legislature further finds that gang and hate group activity has spread from urban areas to suburban and rural areas of the state, and that because of the highly mobile nature of modern gangs, no region is immune to the effects of criminal street gang activity.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature that the schools of the state will be free of the negative influences of criminal street gangs and hate groups that are inconsistent with the maintenance of a positive and safe school climate. The legislature finds that clearly stated school policies are necessary to protect student due process rights and it is the intent of the legislature that all schools will have consistent policies and procedures to address gangs and hate groups and any associated conduct and behavior. The legislature also finds that suppression must be combined with prevention and intervention to effect long-term reductions in gang and hate group activity, and intends that the use of school discipline will be balanced against gang prevention and intervention programs, alternative learning placements, and dropout prevention programs.
(3) Policies and procedures enacted pursuant to this section must be constructed and applied in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation, and must be consistent with the requirements of RCW 49.60.030. The superintendent of public instruction shall require reporting of discipline for criminal street gang and hate group conduct to monitor for disproportional impact on protected groups.
(4) By September 1, 2011, the board of directors of each school district shall enact an antigang policy or modify an existing policy to be consistent with the requirements in this section. The policy must prohibit criminal street gang and hate group activity on school property and school vehicles, and at all school activities, and must outline a procedure that implements the policy in a manner consistent with all pertinent statutes, rules, and any guidance provided by the superintendent of public instruction.
(5) The antigang policy and associated procedure of each district shall, at a minimum, include:
(a) A statement that criminal street gang and hate group activities are prohibited on school properties and at school events for the purpose of promoting safety and the educational mission;
(b) Definitions of all terms, including "criminal street gang," "gang member or associate," "gang activity," "hate group," and "hate group activity" consistent with the definitions in RCW 28A.600.455 and definitions provided in guidelines or rules adopted by the superintendent of public instruction;
(c) Specific guidelines to be used for determining if a student falls under the definition of a member or associate of a criminal street gang or hate group for the purpose of disciplinary action, and an avenue for a student to appeal that determination and/or have it later removed from his or her record;
(d) A provision that no student may be disciplined unless the student knowingly violates the policy or published rules of the school district, and methods by which parents and students are notified of what specific clothing, symbols, gestures, or other activity are deemed by the school district to be gang or hate group-related; and
(e) An outline of progressive discipline steps for violations of the policy, including appropriate interventions other than suspension for first infractions, except in the case of exceptional misconduct as defined under WAC 392-400-245.
(6) The superintendent of public instruction shall convene a work group to advise the development of rules and guidance deemed necessary to implement this section, including definitions of terms and specification of what types of conduct may be considered gang or hate group-related. The membership of the work group must include representatives of stakeholder groups including school directors and administrators, civil rights organizations, the state ethnic commissions, the tribal leaders' congress, parents, students, and law enforcement. The superintendent of public instruction shall report the results of the work group to appropriate committees of the legislature and make guidance, definitions, and draft rules available to school districts by December 1, 2010.
(7) The Washington state school directors' association and the office of superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the task force on gangs in schools and other stakeholders, shall develop and make available to school districts a model policy and procedure by January 1, 2011.
Sec. 2 RCW 28A.225.225 and 2009 c 380 s 7 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) Except for students who reside out-of-state and students under RCW 28A.225.217, a district shall accept applications from nonresident students who are the children of full-time certificated and classified school employees, and those children shall be permitted to enroll:
(a) At the school to which the employee is assigned;
(b) At a school forming the district's K through 12 continuum which includes the school to which the employee is assigned; or
(c) At a school in the district that provides early intervention services pursuant to RCW 28A.155.065 or preschool services pursuant to RCW 28A.155.070, if the student is eligible for such services.
(2) A district may reject applications under this section if:
(a) The student's disciplinary records indicate a history of convictions for offenses or crimes, violent or disruptive behavior, or criminal street gang or hate group membership or activity that raises significant concerns for staff or student safety;
(b) The student has been expelled or suspended from a public school for more than ten consecutive days and there is evidence that admission of the student would present a significant risk of disruption of the educational environment or significant concern for staff or student safety. Any policy allowing for readmission of expelled or suspended students under this subsection (2)(b) must apply uniformly to both resident and nonresident applicants; or
(c) Enrollment of a child under this section would displace a child who is a resident of the district, except that if a child is admitted under subsection (1) of this section, that child shall be permitted to remain enrolled at that school, or in that district's kindergarten through twelfth grade continuum, until he or she has completed his or her schooling.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section, all districts accepting applications from nonresident students or from students receiving home-based instruction for admission to the district's schools shall consider equally all applications received. Each school district shall adopt a policy establishing rational, fair, and equitable standards for acceptance and rejection of applications by June 30, 1990. The policy may include rejection of a nonresident student if:
(a) Acceptance of a nonresident student would result in the district experiencing a financial hardship;
(b) The student's disciplinary records indicate a history of convictions for offenses or crimes, violent or disruptive behavior, or criminal street gang or hate group membership or activity that raises significant concerns for staff or student safety; or
(c) The student has been expelled or suspended from a public school for more than ten consecutive days and there is evidence that admission of the student would present a significant risk of disruption of the educational environment or significant concern for staff or student safety. Any policy allowing for readmission of expelled or suspended students under this subsection (3)(c) must apply uniformly to both resident and nonresident applicants.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section, any district accepting applications from nonresident students for admission to an online learning program shall not deny a nonresident application on the basis of subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section unless that program regularly requires the presence of the student on school property and there is a significant risk of disruption of the educational environment or a significant concern for staff or student safety caused by the student's presence.
(5) For purposes of subsections (2)(a) and (3)(b) of this section, ((
"gang" means a group which: (i) Consists of three or more persons;
(ii) has identifiable leadership; and (iii) on an ongoing basis,
regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes))
"criminal street gang member" and "criminal street gang activity" have
the definitions in RCW 28A.600.455 and "hate group" and "hate group
activity" have the definitions provided in the rules or guidance of the
superintendent of public instruction.
(4))) (6) The district shall provide to applicants written
notification of the approval or denial of the application in a timely
manner not to exceed five school business days from receipt unless
extenuating circumstances exist. If the application is rejected, the
notification shall include the reason or reasons for denial and the
right to appeal under RCW 28A.225.230(3).
Sec. 3 RCW 28A.600.455 and 1997 c 266 s 2 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) A student who is enrolled in a public school or an alternative school may be suspended or expelled, consistent with other laws and rules related to student discipline, if the student is a member or associate of a criminal street gang or member of a hate group and knowingly engages in gang or hate group activity on school grounds or while engaged in any school-sponsored activity.
"Gang" means a group which: (a) Consists of three or more
persons; (b) has identifiable leadership; and (c) on an ongoing basis,
regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes.))
The superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the task
force on gangs in schools and the school safety advisory committee, may
adopt rules pertaining to the discipline of students for gang-related
or hate group-related behavior. Such rules shall include, but not be
limited to, reasonable standards establishing whether a student falls
under the definition of a gang or hate group member or associate,
specific definitions of conduct considered gang or hate group activity,
limits on disciplinary exclusions from school, and required reporting
or recordkeeping. The superintendent of public instruction shall
provide guidance to districts on the application of this section, and
shall thereafter update such guidance as necessary.
(3) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Criminal street gang" means any ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, having a common name or common identifying sign or symbol, having as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal acts, and whose members or associates individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal street gang activity. This definition does not apply to employees engaged in concerted activities for their mutual aid and protection, or to the activities of labor and bona fide organizations or their members or agents.
(b) "Criminal street gang associate or member" means any person who actively participates in any criminal street gang and who intentionally promotes, furthers, or assists in any criminal act by the criminal street gang.
(c) "Gang activity" means any act that is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, or is committed with the intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by the gang, or is committed for one or more of the following reasons:
(i) To gain admission, prestige, or promotion within the gang;
(ii) To increase or maintain the gang's size, prestige, dominance, or control in any geographical area;
(iii) To exact revenge or retribution for the gang or any member of the gang;
(iv) To obstruct justice, or intimidate or eliminate any witness against the gang or any member of the gang;
(v) To directly or indirectly cause any benefit, aggrandizement, gain, profit, or other advantage for the gang, its reputation, influence, or membership; or
(vi) To provide the gang with any advantage in, or any control or dominance over any criminal market sector, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, delivering, or selling any controlled substance (chapter 69.50 RCW); arson (chapter 9A.48 RCW); trafficking in stolen property (chapter 9A.82 RCW); promoting prostitution (chapter 9A.88 RCW); human trafficking (RCW 9A.40.100); or promoting pornography (chapter 9.68 RCW).
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4 If any provision of this act or its
application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other
persons or circumstances is not affected.