Seattle School Board prohibits disruptive behavior on August 27, 1969.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 6/06/1999
  • Essay 1269
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On August 27, 1969, the Seattle School Board adopts a new code prohibiting "disruptive behavior."

The Board adopted the new code one week before 90,865 students returned to school. The code prohibited behavior that would disrupt or interfere with the educational process. The policy further stated that the School District would take legal action against students and other persons who engaged in unlawful, disorderly, or obscene conduct.

Several incidents, including a protest resulting in the hospitalization of a Franklin High School teacher and an assault on Superintendent Forbes Bottomly had occurred during the 1968-1969 academic year. To develop the code, Bottomly visited big city school districts, and four Seattle School Board members conferred with school board members in the 49 largest U.S. cities. School Board President Philip Swain stated that, "We will listen to legitimate student criticism by respect for both justice and order."


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 273; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 28, 1969, p. 1, 3; The Seattle Times, August 28, 1969, p. 23.

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