My child is 12 and has a long documented disability. The (public) school district has not provided appropriate support and has even mislead me on qualifications of the paraeducator assigned to him. She is assigned to support him with behavior and de-escalation but she has no training or professional certification in behavioral support, which has just now been admitted after 2 suspensions since September. We want to record the disciplinary hearing. I can not attend but my husband will be. The attendees include the principal, vice principal, school counselor, my husband, son, and the newly assigned special education case manager. They have made the meeting available for me to attend via Google Classrooms.
I want proof that the administration will say one thing and then completely change their verbiage. Example is "the paraeducator isn't certified, but she has a lot of experience with difficult children."

Or they will admit in person the paraeducator wasn't available to de-escalate him, but by email they will state they believe they have followed his 504. His new case manager seems to be wonderful but she does work for the same system that has lied and mislead me for the past 6 years. I am truly concerned for my sons education and mental health/ emotional safety. They have engaged in discriminatory discipline several times now. I feel recording them without their knowledge is the only way I can prove my son is being discriminated against and get him transferred to another school or district. I know Washington is a 2 party consent state unless it is an emergency / threat of harm or there is no expectation for privacy. So if they have 6 attendees and are offering it on Google Meets does that satisfy no expectation of privacy?

1 Answer 1


Not secretly.

Washington is a Two Party Consent state. Unless all parties agree, you can not legally make a recording of any telephone call, in-person conversation or otherwise digital conversation. The exceptions for emergency services, phone stalking, and hostage-taking don't apply. Neither are you a news reporter under the applicable subsection, which just requires the obviousness of the recording. See RCW 9.73.030 for the details.

Discipline hearings can be public or private, depending on the agency performing them. If the accused is a lawyer, bar association discipline hearings in Washington are public. However, a student disciplinary hearing is usually confidential, yet suspension and expulsion appeal hearings have to be recorded due to the severe nature of the matter. A teacher's hearing might be anywhere between those two. Even if the meeting is to be considered private or confidential, it might or might not be recorded as a matter of policy by the board of education, in which case they'd use the exception to wiretapping of subsection 4.

Illegally obtained evidence (in this case: recordings) will be most likely inadmissible in court, either as fruit of the poison tree, or inadmissible hearsay,

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