Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–236.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) "Bodily injury" means a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain; illness; impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.

(2) "Community-based organization" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 38-271.01(1A).

(3) "Disciplinary unenrollment" means the expulsion or involuntary transfer of a student from a school.

(4) "Emergency removal" means the immediate out-of-school suspension or disciplinary unenrollment of a student based on the school's reasonable belief that the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school staff.

(5) "Emotional distress" means mental suffering or distress that requires more than trivial treatment or counseling.

(6) "Exclusion" means the removal of a student from the student's daily class schedule for disciplinary reasons and includes a suspension or a disciplinary unenrollment.

(7) "Expulsion" means the removal of a student from the student's school of enrollment for disciplinary reasons for the remainder of the school year or longer, in accordance with local education agency policy.

(8) "In-school suspension" means temporarily removing a student from the student's regular class schedule as a disciplinary consequence, during which time the student remains on school grounds under the supervision of school personnel who are physically in the same location as the student.

(9) "Involuntary dismissal" means the removal of the student from school attendance for less than 1/2 of a school day for disciplinary reasons, during which time the student is not under the supervision of school personnel and is not allowed on school grounds.

(10) "Involuntary transfer" means the removal of a student from the student's school of enrollment for disciplinary reasons for the remainder of the school year, or longer, and the student's enrollment in another school within the same local education agency, in accordance with local education agency policy.

(11) "Local education agency" means the District of Columbia Public Schools system or any individual or group of public charter schools operating under a single charter.

(12) "OSSE" means the Office of the State Superintendent of Education established by § 38-201.

(13) "Out-of-school suspension" means the temporary removal of a student from school attendance to another setting for disciplinary reasons, during which time the student is not under the supervision of the school's personnel and is not allowed on school grounds.

(A) The term "out-of-school suspension" includes an involuntary dismissal.

(B) For students with disabilities, the term "out-of-school suspension" includes a removal in which no individualized family service plan or individualized education plan services are provided because the removal is 10 days or fewer as well as removals in which the student continues to receive services according to the student's individualized family service plan or individualized education plan.

(14) "Parent" means a parent, guardian, or other person who has custody or control of a student enrolled in a school in a local education agency.

(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.

(16) "School-based intervention" means temporarily removing a student from the student's regular class schedule for the purpose of providing the student with school-based targeted supports, such as behavioral therapy, in response to student conduct that would otherwise warrant an in-school suspension.

(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.

(18) "Student with a disability" means a student who qualifies as a child with a disability under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved December 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2652; 20 U.S.C. § 1401(3)).

(19) "Suspension" means an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension.

(20) "Willful defiance" means disrupting school activities or intentionally defying the valid authority of school staff.


(September 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 201; as added Aug. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-157, § 2(c), 65 DCR 7499.)