REAL Suspension and Expulsion Advocacy

Suspension and Expulsion Advocacy in Seattle, WA - King County

R.E.A.L. is a suspension and expulsion advocacy project. A part of the Race and Justice Clinic at UW Law, future attorneys represent public school students in suspension and expulsion hearings to safeguard their right to education. Additionally, the clinic helps students get back into school, provides workshops regarding basic educational rights and educational advocacy.


The racial disproportionality in school discipline is at an all time high.
In Seattle Public Schools:
African-American high school students are suspended or expelled more than 3x as often as other students
In middle school, the racial disparity is greater, with blacks 3 1/2 times more likely to be disciplined than other students, according to district data shared with Reuters.
African-Americans represent just over 20 percent of the 12,500 high school students in the Seattle district and 18 percent of 8,000 middle school students there, and yet they account for more than 40 percent of all suspensions and expulsions in those schools.
The racial disparity in student discipline "is a problem," Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda, who was appointed last May to oversee the district, told Reuters. "It is a concern for us."


- Represent students in suspension and expulsion hearings and requests for re-admissions.
- Educate students, parents and community members regarding educational rights.
- Advocate with communities at the state and local level for better educational practices around discipline.
- Learn together so that we can be solution oriented in ending disproportionality and closing the opportunity gap.

Students have a right to education; even if they misbehave in school.

What are a student’s rights when suspended or expelled from school?
The school administrator (usually a Principal or Vice Principal) must:
1) Give reasons for why the student is suspended or expelled and which rules were broken.
2) Give student a chance to tell his or her story.
3) Give an end date of the suspension or expulsion; it cannot last longer than one year.

Lastly, ALL students have a right to appeal a suspension or expulsion. After receiving notice of the suspension or expulsion the student has 3 business days to file notice of appeal.
*A student’s rights are slightly different depending on what punishment the district proposes.

This 15-Year-Old Was Suspended For Doing Something White Kids Do All the Time

Suspension fair? Why did this photo earn him “indefinite suspension with a recommendation of expulsion.”

Education Advocacy Manual: TeamChild

Here is a resource for Educational Advocacy. Created by Team Child. In the event you have problems with any of these downloads, we suggest you try again at another time. Sometimes factors beyond our control inhibit a successful download.

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

Disproportinality in School Discipline in Seattle Public Schools Investigators will see if the same punishment is given to black and white students who misbehave.

If you've been suspended or expelled, we can help!



University Of Washington
Seattle, WA
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