District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Discipline Compendium

District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Category: Partnerships between Schools and Law Enforcement
Subcategory: Referrals to Law Enforcement
State: District of Columbia

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§ 38-207. Authority of police over truant child.

(a)(1) A law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe, based on the minor's age and other factors, that a minor is truant from any public, independent, private, or parochial school on a day and during the hours when the school is in session shall take that minor into custody and deliver the minor to the public, independent, private, or parochial school where the minor is presently enrolled, so long as the school is located in the District.

(2) If the minor is not currently enrolled at a public, independent, private, or parochial school, the law enforcement officer shall take the minor to the District of Columbia Public Schools placement office.

(3) If a minor is enrolled in a public, independent, private, or parochial school located within the District of Columbia, the educational institution shall receive that minor from a law enforcement officer during the hours when the school is in operation.

§ 38-208. Truancy procedures; inter-agency coordination.

(c)(1)(B) Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the educational institution shall refer a minor student 14 years of age through 17 years of age to the Court Social Services Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and to the Office of the Attorney General Juvenile Section no later than 2 business days after the accrual of 15 unexcused full school day absences within a school year.

§ 38-232. Reference to criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system.

Pursuant to the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, approved October 20, 1994 (108 Stat. 3908; 20 U.S.C. 8921 et seq.) [repealed, see now 20 U.S.C. § 7151] the Superintendent of Schools shall refer to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system, simultaneous with expulsion, any student who is expelled for bringing a weapon into a District of Columbia Public School.

§ 38-236.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(15) "Referral to law enforcement" means an action by school personnel to report a student to a law enforcement agency or official, including a school police unit, for an incident that occurs on school grounds, during off-campus school activities, or while taking school transportation. [...]

(17) "School-related arrest" means an arrest of a student for an activity conducted on school grounds, during off-campus school activities, while taking school transportation, or due to a referral to law enforcement by the student's school.

§ 38-236.03. Establishment of school discipline policies.

(b) Local education agencies shall adopt, in consultation with school personnel, students, and parents, school discipline policies to promote the safety and well-being of students and staff. School discipline policies shall:

(10) Provide that school personnel shall consider whether student behavior can be safely and appropriately handled through other disciplinary action before making referrals to law enforcement or seeking school-related arrests in response to student behavior.


5-E2404. Search procedures.

2404.4 Random searches of students, and lockers shall be undertaken, in a manner which is consistent with the overall need to maintain the safety and security of D.C. Public Schools. The searches shall occur under the auspices of the D.C. Public Schools Office of Safety and Security and, where appropriate, the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Public Schools Legal Services Branch, unless circumstances compel immediate action to avoid imminent danger to self or others.

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