Q.M. v. Spokane Public Schools No. 81

This court case is completed

A homeless African-American student in the Spokane Public Schools was suspended for stating that he would go to the school board about an assistant principal telling him to leave a school dance after a dispute with other students and then emergency expelling him when he waited outside for his date. The emergency expulsion was later converted to a long-term suspension of 61 days which was upheld in an appeal to the school board in spite of no clear rationale being provided for the decision. ACLU-WA filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals in support of the student’s case. The brief focused on the affirmative right to an education guaranteed by the Washington State constitution, the long-term harmful consequences of depriving students of this right for significant periods of time, and the disparate impact of suspension and expulsion on students of color and low-income students. The school district eventually agreed to resolve the case, so the appeal was dismissed without a ruling by the court.