Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his revised 2019-2020 state budget proposal during a news conference on May 9 in Sacramento.

Beginning next July, teachers in California will no longer be allowed to suspend elementary and middle school students from school for disrupting classroom activities or defying school authorities, as the result of a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday.

Current law already bans out-of-school suspensions in grades K-3 as a result of a 2013 law signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.  But Brown held the line on extending the ban to higher grades, where by far the majority of suspensions occur, and vetoed several bills that tried to do just that.

But Newsom appears to have had no hesitation signing Senate Bill 419, authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, that will cover all elementary grades (K-5) and for a five-year trial period include middle school grades (6 to 8).

Photo: Courtesy of Sen. Skinner

Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley

“Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong and where teachers and counselors can help them thrive,” Skinner said.

Under state law, teachers would still be allowed to suspend students from their classrooms for up to two days as long as they remained in school by participating in what is known as an “in-school” suspension program. Students would remain under school supervision where they are expected to participate in activities that address the behavior that led to their being removed from the classroom.

A principal concern of Skinner’s, and other child advocates who backed her bill, was the fact that disruption and willful defiance — vague categories that are subject to a range of interpretations — have had a disproportionate impact on African American students, males especially. When they are pushed out of school, they are more likely to come into contact with law enforcement, at times with disastrous consequences.

“No student should be set back in their education for something as minor as chewing gum or talking in class,” said Angela McNair Turner, an attorney at Public Counsel, a public interest law firm that for years has been working to reduce suspensions and expulsions from California schools. “SB 419 is a huge step forward in addressing equity in schools across the state and eliminating the school to prison pipeline for youth in grades K-8, but there are still nearly 19,000 students who were suspended for defiance in the 2017-2018 school year who will not have these protections.”

Several of the state’s largest districts, including Los Angeles Unified, Oakland and San Francisco, have already abolished the use of willful defiance suspensions entirely. As a result, the number of students suspended for willful defiance and disruption has plummeted in California to one-sixth the level they were a half dozen years ago.

Based on what happened in Los Angeles, newly elected board member Jackie Goldberg suggested the law would have a similar impact across the state. “SB 419 will result in less instructional days lost due to suspensions, improved academic outcomes and school climate, and it will lead to fewer students to drop out of school and enter the juvenile justice system,” she said.

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  1. Patty 6 days ago6 days ago

    While I feel like suspension should be saved for the most egregious acts, the ones making these decisions aren’t in a classroom. They aren’t dealing with the outright disrespect that teachers have to handle all while trying to continue to do their job of teaching. I’ve seen classrooms get sidelined by the acts of one or two students in it. The students’ behavior sets the tone for the whole classroom. And don’t blame that on … Read More

    While I feel like suspension should be saved for the most egregious acts, the ones making these decisions aren’t in a classroom. They aren’t dealing with the outright disrespect that teachers have to handle all while trying to continue to do their job of teaching.

    I’ve seen classrooms get sidelined by the acts of one or two students in it. The students’ behavior sets the tone for the whole classroom. And don’t blame that on the teacher. How much mental health education does a teacher receive? How much of a teacher’s time should be spent on it? And where do these student’s go when they are on “in-school suspension”? To the office, that’s where, where they continue to refuse to do work and disrupt the workings of the already busy office to employees who are even less versed in how to handle said students. This article makes it seem as if these student’s go to a room where they are specifically dealt with one-on-one with a paid specialist.

    Not in this state! Support schools, teachers and students completely, not half-assed.

  2. Geoffrey Harris 2 months ago2 months ago

    I am coming at this from a somewhat different angle. When I was a small child back in the early and middle 70s, a number of educational supervisors were overly punitive and tended to isolate me. That was not helpful. What would have been would have been to teach proper behavior and communication skills. Admittedly that was a tall order given that there was typically just 1 or 2 supervisors in the pre-schools. What could … Read More

    I am coming at this from a somewhat different angle. When I was a small child back in the early and middle 70s, a number of educational supervisors were overly punitive and tended to isolate me. That was not helpful. What would have been would have been to teach proper behavior and communication skills.

    Admittedly that was a tall order given that there was typically just 1 or 2 supervisors in the pre-schools. What could have been done was just to say don’t do that, do this. My mother talked to them about this, saying just talk to him, rather than punish him, but they said we don’t do that.

    I found the school staff to be repressive, alarmist and punitive. There was in instance in first grade when I covered my ears and got a girl to do the same because the music was too loud. I was told by a couple staff members that the science resource person was not coming the next time because I had done that and then he gave me a displeased dirty contemptuous look when next he saw me which was distressing. Well, at least they explained why they were punishing me, and it was a mild punishment.

    I did not have the verbal and communication skills and courage and confidence to tell them that the music at the rock concert at the school was too loud. It did not occur to them that the hearing of small children was also more sensitive than that of adults typically.

  3. Mike 3 months ago3 months ago

    So, the same guy who said students can’t be suspended for willful defiance or fighting is now saying that the students can be sent home if they refuse to wear a mask? Is this a joke or what? This guy needs to be recalled yesterday.

  4. Nancie Norfleet 7 months ago7 months ago

    I am a middle school instructional assistant in Virginia. This year, I have had a chair thrown at me (had to seek medical attention) and another student put me in a headlock. One of my classes has 5 boys with major behavior problems-they are so disruptive, nobody is learning. We have 3-4 adults assigned to the class. How is this fair to the students who actually want to pass? Expecting a … Read More

    I am a middle school instructional assistant in Virginia. This year, I have had a chair thrown at me (had to seek medical attention) and another student put me in a headlock. One of my classes has 5 boys with major behavior problems-they are so disruptive, nobody is learning. We have 3-4 adults assigned to the class. How is this fair to the students who actually want to pass? Expecting a teacher to deal with these behaviors and teach is unrealistic.

  5. Concerned Parent 8 months ago8 months ago

    What about the other 32 kids in the classroom? They have a right to an education and when the teachers are required to spend more of their time trying to rein in a disruptive child rather than educate the children that are trying to learn, you will start to see the overall scores drop to horrific lows.

  6. Larry 8 months ago8 months ago

    This is about the push for more liberalism in CA, nothing more, nothing less. If the sponsors and signers of this bill spent a couple of months "in the trenches" with teachers they might have a different view. I have family members who are elementary school teachers, and many of our friends either are, were or have kids who are teachers. There is no discipline these days and if there is, the person meting … Read More

    This is about the push for more liberalism in CA, nothing more, nothing less. If the sponsors and signers of this bill spent a couple of months “in the trenches” with teachers they might have a different view. I have family members who are elementary school teachers, and many of our friends either are, were or have kids who are teachers. There is no discipline these days and if there is, the person meting out the discipline is accused of being a racist, bigot etc. It’s pathetic. Here’s more evidence of my position..https://ktrh.iheart.com/featured/michael-berry/content/2020-03-03-video-thugs-in-san-fran-loot-cosmetics-store-after-no-arrest-policy/?fbclid=IwAR1j9PviNumnSv-D4cWlbCFmZTy1zBzUcDWGqxSeGN4UAbYTiwUNPktcocQ#.Xl7yoCt3yvA.facebook

  7. Latoya Dozier 8 months ago8 months ago

    This is crazy that people are not seeing the real big picture as to why this law is pushed and is in need. I know: I have a child that's in 5th grade and sent home constantly for blurting out in class, for getting up and leaving out his class and many more other behavioral issues – not to mention he was recently diagnosed with ADHD. The point is these schools have no structure at … Read More

    This is crazy that people are not seeing the real big picture as to why this law is pushed and is in need. I know: I have a child that’s in 5th grade and sent home constantly for blurting out in class, for getting up and leaving out his class and many more other behavioral issues – not to mention he was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

    The point is these schools have no structure at all, no authority and just expect a child to act all goody 2 shoes. Not all kids come equipped with those goody 2 shoes skills so instead of giving them a hand and making them sit down to do their work, they rather give them a F grade and send them home for 2 days, and my son is black, by the way. But to me, it’s not just color, it’s his future and not wanting to be discouraged by the time he gets to middle school.

  8. John Dane 9 months ago9 months ago

    This is an idea that only a non-teacher can get behind. The average number of students in a class is 32; something as “minor” as talking in class by one student interrupts the other 31 student’s ability to learn. Keeping a student in class who is willfully defiant and disruptive is going to further distract students who want to learn. I foresee lower test scores and far less learning in the classroom.

  9. Walter White 9 months ago9 months ago

    I respect the decision taken by Gov. Gavin Newsom and everyone should also do that in California. Here at Garden Grove Unified School District, we also consult students with love and care. Thank you for the update, Louis.

  10. Lauren Vallejo 9 months ago9 months ago

    That’s great news, Louis. We need to guide the students with love and care instead of suspending them. Here at Elk Grove Unified School District, we educate the students not to disrupt the classroom or defy school authorities and focus on the studies.

  11. Mike 9 months ago9 months ago

    I’ve been a PE teacher in California for 29 years. Respect for teachers and authority went out the window years ago and it keeps getting worse every day. Public education in California has become a joke. Gavin Newsom and this law have made it OK for poorly behaved students to ruin the learning environment for students that are truly there for an education. Friends of mine can’t believe some of the stories I tell them … Read More

    I’ve been a PE teacher in California for 29 years. Respect for teachers and authority went out the window years ago and it keeps getting worse every day. Public education in California has become a joke. Gavin Newsom and this law have made it OK for poorly behaved students to ruin the learning environment for students that are truly there for an education. Friends of mine can’t believe some of the stories I tell them about kids behavior in school. What’s more shocking to them is the fact that nothing happens to these kids.

    Today’s state of affairs is why teachers are quitting or retiring earlier than ever before. The amount of college students getting into the teaching profession is at an all-time low also because they hear all the nightmare stories that go on in schools these days. I am just so glad my own two kids are out of school. California has become the laughingstock of the nation.

    Replies

    • MaryJane Maxwell 8 months ago8 months ago

      Thank you for being truthful Mike. Allowing students to misbehave, such as swearing at classmates and teachers, as well as using racial slurs, sexual slurs , and name-calling ( and not doing anything about it), models to other students that this is acceptable behavior. It also creates an unsafe environment for others who are attempting to learn. Mr. Newsom needs to be a principal for a … Read More

      Thank you for being truthful Mike. Allowing students to misbehave, such as swearing at classmates and teachers, as well as using racial slurs, sexual slurs , and name-calling ( and not doing anything about it), models to other students that this is acceptable behavior. It also creates an unsafe environment for others who are attempting to learn.

      Mr. Newsom needs to be a principal for a day. While the author of the bill no doubt has racial profiling in mind (and we should all be mindful to respect and treat all with equity and equality), this is a great disservice to all involved.

  12. Cheryl Kelly 9 months ago9 months ago

    What about the kids the teachers can’t control because they are bigger and stronger and are a threat to the safety of not only the teacher but the rest of the class? How does that help the kids who are there to learn? They are the ones getting shafted. These one size fits all laws never work, they just cover up and create bigger problems.

  13. Jeff Riggs 9 months ago9 months ago

    What about the rest of the students' rights to learn. We are punishing many to bend over backwards to give a single disruptive student the right to learn. In many cases, they are holding classes hostage and teachers as well. When will we hold kids responsible for their actions? We are stripping the schools of any control and these students know teachers can do nothing to them and they can steal the opportunity of education … Read More

    What about the rest of the students’ rights to learn. We are punishing many to bend over backwards to give a single disruptive student the right to learn. In many cases, they are holding classes hostage and teachers as well. When will we hold kids responsible for their actions? We are stripping the schools of any control and these students know teachers can do nothing to them and they can steal the opportunity of education from multiple students because of their lack of control.

  14. Bill turiace 10 months ago10 months ago

    Big problem is a lack of respect for authority which originates at home. The real challenge are those parents who have a lack of respect for authority figures, subsequently the trickle down effect. We are in effect focusing on the results and not the cause dysfunctional homes. We need to emphasize respect in the classroom, so there will be respect for the law and less kids ending up dead or incarcerated.

  15. Cooky 11 months ago11 months ago

    OK, a little common sense here (which is completely gone in our California government). It's not about chewing gum or talking in class anymore. I work for the schools, K through 5th. It is now about children bringing weapons, throwing chairs and desks, verbal and physical abuse from these kids at other children, teachers and staff members. And so now we can't suspend them for harming others? And we wonder why California … Read More

    OK, a little common sense here (which is completely gone in our California government). It’s not about chewing gum or talking in class anymore. I work for the schools, K through 5th. It is now about children bringing weapons, throwing chairs and desks, verbal and physical abuse from these kids at other children, teachers and staff members.

    And so now we can’t suspend them for harming others? And we wonder why California can’t get teachers anymore? The state has taken all of the discipline out of the schools, and so now, this is the outcome. No wonder people are leaving California by the droves. I agree with Rebecca … shame on our governor!

    Replies

    • Larry 8 months ago8 months ago

      Excellent commentary Cookie…many thanks.

    • Gina 6 months ago6 months ago

      If a child throws a chair towards a teacher or classmate or hurts someone, that would be a "suspendable" offense. Under ed code that would be willfully causing harm. I think this law in part is having schools rethink consequences for disruptive behavior other than sending the student home. If a child is speaking out, talking back, cursing, being defiant, etc..., while very disruptive, but not dangerous, there should be another approach. … Read More

      If a child throws a chair towards a teacher or classmate or hurts someone, that would be a “suspendable” offense. Under ed code that would be willfully causing harm. I think this law in part is having schools rethink consequences for disruptive behavior other than sending the student home. If a child is speaking out, talking back, cursing, being defiant, etc…, while very disruptive, but not dangerous, there should be another approach. If a teacher can’t deal with it or it’s taking up too much instructional time, which isn’t fair for the other students in the class, then they should seek support from the administration. They should be removed from the class, but not suspended from school. There should be other supports put in place to address the situation.

      The principal needs to be on board, along with counselors and support staff to offer interventions and support. We do PBIS at our school (Positive Behaviors, Interventions and Supports) and the students most definitely can be removed from the classroom, parents are contacted, and they write a reflection and/or participate in restorative practices. They stay at school and can do their work in another setting, like the office, library or a buddy class. There are all kinds of structures that a school can put in place for situations where a student needs to be removed from a class, with the goal in mind of turning the situation into a learning experience for the child, while trying to meet the social emotional needs of both the teacher and the student.

  16. Rebecca Kitchin 11 months ago11 months ago

    Perfect! Parents don’t parent. Teachers trying to teach in government run schools now have no way to maintain order in their classrooms! And we wonder why teachers struggle? This is absurd! Shame on your Governor.

  17. Kathy 11 months ago11 months ago

    The government needs to visit small schools so he can see the ramifications of this bill. Other kids will be harrassed more. He has stripped pubic schools of any discipline.

  18. Dawn Swartz 12 months ago12 months ago

    Whatever happened to Saturday school? I don't think sending a kid home who's defiant is the proper punishment nowadays; parents work which means these kids are left home alone and are able to do what they want. Most junior high school kids don't want to go to school so how is sending them home teaching them a lesson try making them go to school when they don't have to. Not to mention they now will … Read More

    Whatever happened to Saturday school? I don’t think sending a kid home who’s defiant is the proper punishment nowadays; parents work which means these kids are left home alone and are able to do what they want. Most junior high school kids don’t want to go to school so how is sending them home teaching them a lesson try making them go to school when they don’t have to. Not to mention they now will be behind and their grades drop. Which causes more stress and hopelessness for the kid.

  19. Janet Roche 12 months ago12 months ago

    As you take away more and more consequences for troublesome children, you have more and more problems in school. As a teacher, I resent the thinking that schools are responsible for all of society’s ills. You take some of these kids and see what you can do with them! There will not be more days of academic achievement – there will be less!

  20. Joey 12 months ago12 months ago

    What kind of adults can we expect when you don’t discipline them when they are kids. The chickens will come home to roost. Teachers have a hard job they need the ability to discipline so they can maintain respect and order.

  21. cat 1 year ago1 year ago

    Unfortunately my kinder student should be suspended not for hurting me physically, but threatening other students and running out the class, destroying classroom supplies, climbing through the benches and on to columns, tables and counters, and for using vulgar language all at the same time.

    That’s not just chewing gum in class. He is a danger to himself and others

    Replies

    • Desert Tortoise 9 months ago9 months ago

      Your kinder student more than likely is ADHD, ODD and autistic. If this student is not already in a special ed class or in a mainstream class with a paraprofessional and some daily time in an RSP, you as a teacher should recommend this poor little kid for the necessary psychological and psychiatric evaluations to enroll him as a special ed student.

  22. joanne lewis 1 year ago1 year ago

    As a former teacher, teachers need support from parents and their principals to enforce school and class rules of behavior. Otherwise, it takes away the rights of the other students who are trying to excel in their education – their right to learn. The teacher as well should be allowed to teach without having to constantly correct the behavior of several students every day. I am a firm believer of tricking kids into learning … Read More

    As a former teacher, teachers need support from parents and their principals to enforce school and class rules of behavior. Otherwise, it takes away the rights of the other students who are trying to excel in their education – their right to learn. The teacher as well should be allowed to teach without having to constantly correct the behavior of several students every day.

    I am a firm believer of tricking kids into learning while having fun learning. We want these students to become problem solvers, well-rounded, and lifelong learners because they had a positive learning environment.

    When I was a teacher, I suspended very few students; however, if the student was continually disrupting the learning environment, steps need to be taken to ensure the other students’ right to learn.

    First step is to communicate with the student. Then, if that isn’t successful, contact the parents. One of the major setbacks in school today is the lack of retention: Students and parents are not being held accountable for learning in school. Take away homework, but insist that students do the work required in class or complete it at home.

  23. Isabelle Wettergren 1 year ago1 year ago

    From my perspective as a 20 year veteran teacher and founder of Teachers' Wellness Coaching & Consulting, there has been a significant shift in the basic and socio-emotional needs of the K-12 population, especially in the Bay Area where economic, food, and housing insecurities are plaguing our families and the ability of students to learn.     I completely agree with the first portion of Skinner's statement: "Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they … Read More

    From my perspective as a 20 year veteran teacher and founder of Teachers’ Wellness Coaching & Consulting, there has been a significant shift in the basic and socio-emotional needs of the K-12 population, especially in the Bay Area where economic, food, and housing insecurities are plaguing our families and the ability of students to learn.    

    I completely agree with the first portion of Skinner’s statement: “Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong.” However, I find that the second portion of the statement: “where teachers and counselors can help them thrive” puts an enormous burden on teachers and counselors who are neither social workers nor psychologists yet they are increasingly expected to perform those roles as well as delivering instruction.

    As of date, most investment on  teachers’ training has been focussed on classroom management, trauma informed classroom, and socio emotional learning.  To my knowledge, very little has been done to help teachers and educators with their own emotional and mental wellbeing.  How can we expect disregulated adults to teach children to regulate themselves? Are we preparing the emerging generation of teachers with the knowledge, skills and attitude they will need to face today’s classroom without compromising their sense of wellbeing and sanity?  Are we intentional and simultaneously looking at the flip side of this new law: rates of anxiety, depression, burnout, and attrition afflicting the teaching profession? 

    I am hopeful that this new law will be the catalytic event that will result in the development of policies, systems, and practices supporting the mental health and wellbeing of those who have dedicated themselves to the teaching profession.  

    In my Wellness Coaching role, I focus on mental health and wellbeing of teachers and administrators. I work with educators to help them develop their personalized wellness plan.  I frequently hear disturbing  stories of chairs being thrown in the classroom, fights breaking up, parents’ outrage, threats, and levels of condescendence and disrespect that would make anyone’s skin crawl.  We are no longer talking about something “minor as chewing gum or talking in class” as implied by Angela McNair Turner.  

  24. Lisa 1 year ago1 year ago

    My son is one of those disruptive students and yes I agree he has no business disrespecting the teachers but at the same time he is dealing with a lot of trauma too. He's 8 and his father and I separated 3 years ago and his oldest sister moved to out of state 18 months ago and it has affected him. He also has a formal diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety. There was an incident … Read More

    My son is one of those disruptive students and yes I agree he has no business disrespecting the teachers but at the same time he is dealing with a lot of trauma too. He’s 8 and his father and I separated 3 years ago and his oldest sister moved to out of state 18 months ago and it has affected him. He also has a formal diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety.

    There was an incident when he was in kindergarten that the school and the teacher never told me about. I won’t say that if they had, he wouldn’t be like this but I do believe if I was told about it I could have got him help before now. Any child who goes to there teacher and tells them they hear voices should be taken serious no matter how old they are.

    I’m not saying it’s the teachers fault; she is a very nice lady and taught my three children in kindergarten. I’m just saying speak to parents; let them know of odd things or behaviors in their children.

  25. Cristina 1 year ago1 year ago

    Only the children that start the fights or bullying should be suspended/expelled. Those that defend themselves shouldn’t.

  26. Vanessa Phillips 1 year ago1 year ago

    Well here is the kicker. And when more realize that our educators have no psychology basics while pursuing their teaching degree. Sure it sounds fun to teach our youth, but are you aware of what goes on during adolescent years. I'll say 85% of the time their is a neurological answer to why we are all wrong about this school defiance. You can't teach a child if you don't understand how they function. Prove me … Read More

    Well here is the kicker. And when more realize that our educators have no psychology basics while pursuing their teaching degree. Sure it sounds fun to teach our youth, but are you aware of what goes on during adolescent years. I’ll say 85% of the time their is a neurological answer to why we are all wrong about this school defiance.

    You can’t teach a child if you don’t understand how they function. Prove me wrong. And no Psych 101 is not enough.

  27. Tina 1 year ago1 year ago

    I wish I could rescind my vote. I left teaching after 20 years largely because of the disrespect, defiance and feeling unsafe. My sister has a 3 year RN certificate- she made a lot of money, happy, benefits, not having to discipline kids and be abused daily as I was as a teacher. I have many years education above her. I wish I could choose my career over again. Never teaching! These politicians need to … Read More

    I wish I could rescind my vote. I left teaching after 20 years largely because of the disrespect, defiance and feeling unsafe. My sister has a 3 year RN certificate- she made a lot of money, happy, benefits, not having to discipline kids and be abused daily as I was as a teacher. I have many years education above her. I wish I could choose my career over again. Never teaching! These politicians need to try teaching. And the defiant students represent all colors. Doesn’t matter. The entire system is a mess! I will say this- I substitute taught at a private Catholic school and it was awesome! Food provided. Respectful students. Involved staff all around. Staff treated with respect. ALL schools should be this way!

  28. Kay 1 year ago1 year ago

    I was well trained in California. I earned a life credential. I’ve taught in many states. I’m so grateful that I’m at the end of my career. When these students meet a police officer/judge, we have done them a disservice. Please hold all accountable. It will serve them well in the end.

  29. Roselia 1 year ago1 year ago

    I certainly hope that the governor plans to support this bill with giving every school an in-school suspension room and adequate personnel that it takes to help. Extra counselors on the school sites to deal with the behavior from students who are dealing with trauma and a suspension room to help with the kids who refuse to even stay in the classroom – those who get in trouble for having explosive tempers and throw … Read More

    I certainly hope that the governor plans to support this bill with giving every school an in-school suspension room and adequate personnel that it takes to help. Extra counselors on the school sites to deal with the behavior from students who are dealing with trauma and a suspension room to help with the kids who refuse to even stay in the classroom – those who get in trouble for having explosive tempers and throw desks across classrooms, use profanity and threaten other students.

    That is what students are usually suspended for. Gum chewing – let’s get real: Teachers don’t really fight that battle unless it is a school with very respectful students who have nothing else to get in trouble about.

  30. Rich 1 year ago1 year ago

    Ouch. Anyone who signs for this should go in and try to teach a class for 30 days while hosting 5 disruptive students. You have no idea what it is like and what a nightmare it creates for the 25 out of 30 students who are mainly on task . 50% of the teacher's time will now be taken up dealing with misbehavior instead of teaching. This will lead to further … Read More

    Ouch. Anyone who signs for this should go in and try to teach a class for 30 days while hosting 5 disruptive students. You have no idea what it is like and what a nightmare it creates for the 25 out of 30 students who are mainly on task . 50% of the teacher’s time will now be taken up dealing with misbehavior instead of teaching. This will lead to further difficulties in teacher recruitment and retention, early retirement and mental health.

    Unintended consequences of ruling by Fiat from afar. As part of the legislation, legislators should be required to visit and guest teach in a disrupted classroom for 14 days. It may awaken some feeling of charity toward teachers, rather than blaming them.

  31. Darryl Chriss 1 year ago1 year ago

    As an African American educator, I believe that Governor Newsom's support of Senator Skinner's Senate Bill 419 creates a gross injustice for all students who arrive in the classroom with a genuine willingness and desire to learn. Senate Bill 419 lowers the quality of public education for students and parents who cannot afford to provide their children with private education. Senate Bill 419 ignores the fact that students with disciplinary problems disrupt instruction and distract … Read More

    As an African American educator, I believe that Governor Newsom’s support of Senator Skinner’s Senate Bill 419 creates a gross injustice for all students who arrive in the classroom with a genuine willingness and desire to learn. Senate Bill 419 lowers the quality of public education for students and parents who cannot afford to provide their children with private education. Senate Bill 419 ignores the fact that students with disciplinary problems disrupt instruction and distract the learning process of students in classrooms across the country on a daily basis. Why should students of all ethnicities with genuine interests in learning be deprived of consistently sound education because policy makers fail to appropriately address the problem of disruptive students in their classrooms?

  32. Mary Ellen 1 year ago1 year ago

    “Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong and where teachers and counselors can help them thrive,” Skinner said.
    Ms. Skinner: Teachers and counselors cannot help them thrive if they don’t care about their education. In the meantime, the disruptors deprive other students the right to an education.

  33. Kateri Wentz 1 year ago1 year ago

    I feel that the problem children should have tutoring in any subject they are having problems with.

  34. John Fracker 1 year ago1 year ago

    Anybody with common sense knows this move will create a nightmare for good teachers and students and most likely dangerous. They should put all the trouble makers into highly monitored and secure areas and keep them there with each other for company. Yes much like a prison until they develop the needed coping skills to function in a classroom.

  35. NickelthroweR 1 year ago1 year ago

    I was a high school teacher 20 or so years ago. I did not stay in the profession very long because our school district wouldn't discipline the students for fear of losing them to a charter school. You could literally come to my class ten minutes late, tell me to F off and then sit in your seat and scream at the ceiling, and no one would do anything. Imagine what it must have … Read More

    I was a high school teacher 20 or so years ago. I did not stay in the profession very long because our school district wouldn’t discipline the students for fear of losing them to a charter school. You could literally come to my class ten minutes late, tell me to F off and then sit in your seat and scream at the ceiling, and no one would do anything.

    Imagine what it must have been like for the few students I had that actually wanted to learn. Public education is nothing more than prison for children run by the DMV.

  36. Allison 1 year ago1 year ago

    Thank God my kids are adults. If this had been established when they were kids, we’d have home-schooled (and my public school teacher parents would have left the profession).

  37. dave abrams 1 year ago1 year ago

    in a class of 25 to 35. one disruptive and/or defiant student is an educational disaster. As with any successful bully, the weak tend to follow his lead, the class will learn much less and the few disruptive students’ road to jail will be minimally delayed. Poor educational outcomes will continue to generate an underclass, not because of racism but an inability to compete.

  38. Kathy Nelson 1 year ago1 year ago

    As an educator for the past 38 years, I have to wonder when Angela McNair Turner was last in a classroom. Chewing gum ... talking in class?? We should be so lucky. Most of the defiant behavior becomes a safety issue for the other students and occasionally the teacher. Removing the student from the class not only (hopefully) changes the misbehaviors but also allows the other 28+ students an opportunity to … Read More

    As an educator for the past 38 years, I have to wonder when Angela McNair Turner was last in a classroom. Chewing gum … talking in class?? We should be so lucky. Most of the defiant behavior becomes a safety issue for the other students and occasionally the teacher. Removing the student from the class not only (hopefully) changes the misbehaviors but also allows the other 28+ students an opportunity to actually learn without constant disruptions. The majority of the teacher’s time is spent on classroom management. Imagine what we could accomplish if “chewing gum” were the worst of our worries.

  39. mario benvenuti 1 year ago1 year ago

    How about the rights of and concerns for the “non-disruptive” students?

  40. Karl 1 year ago1 year ago

    The idea of in-school suspension is not a new one, but it does require staffing to manage. And staff development is the key to effective in-school programs where students can reflect on their behavior, and actually "earn" their way back into the classroom. We forget that disruptive students (not gum-chewers etc.) take away the audience from the teacher. But then in California the idea that most of the kids who follow the rules and behave … Read More

    The idea of in-school suspension is not a new one, but it does require staffing to manage. And staff development is the key to effective in-school programs where students can reflect on their behavior, and actually “earn” their way back into the classroom. We forget that disruptive students (not gum-chewers etc.) take away the audience from the teacher. But then in California the idea that most of the kids who follow the rules and behave (yes a little discipline here) are the ones that suffer when instruction is impeded by true defiance of authority.

    No one benefits by giving students the “day off” at home, but if the CDE and the Legislature want this alternative for disruptive students, then plan to pay for it. Easier said than done.

  41. Bo Loney 1 year ago1 year ago

    Recruiting more male teachers would be great. Are we working on that?

  42. Casey 1 year ago1 year ago

    I’d love to know where Mr. Freedberg got his information that students would “likely participate in activities that address their behavior.” Who is running that program at schools where there is so little money that teachers are having to provide paper and pencils for their classes out of their own personal funds? And while he is correct that students of color being suspended at higher rates than their white counterparts, I’d love some … Read More

    I’d love to know where Mr. Freedberg got his information that students would “likely participate in activities that address their behavior.” Who is running that program at schools where there is so little money that teachers are having to provide paper and pencils for their classes out of their own personal funds? And while he is correct that students of color being suspended at higher rates than their white counterparts, I’d love some data on how many students have been suspended for talking and gum-chewing. That is ridiculous propaganda aimed at making teachers look like racist extremists.

    I also want to know who is responsible for teaching humans that defying authority comes with consequences in our society. Parents aren’t doing it. Teachers are quickly being limited in their ability to do it. But police officers can arrest, physically harm, and even kill people for defying authority. As a parent, I’d rather have my kid learn in 4-6th grade that defying authority has consequences as opposed to having her find that out for the first time at the hands of law enforcement.

  43. Stephanie Eckard 1 year ago1 year ago

    This is another example of teachers being pushed to do the job parents should be doing. My daughter works for the school district. It is absolutely unbelievable how much these kids ignore authority already. These are children who feel entitled to do anything and everything. As we continue to remove consequences for disruptive behavior, we have empowered a generation to do as they please and never being accountable for it. Has everyone forgotten the discipline we … Read More

    This is another example of teachers being pushed to do the job parents should be doing. My daughter works for the school district. It is absolutely unbelievable how much these kids ignore authority already. These are children who feel entitled to do anything and everything.

    As we continue to remove consequences for disruptive behavior, we have empowered a generation to do as they please and never being accountable for it.

    Has everyone forgotten the discipline we had at home and at school growing up 35-40 years ago. We actually had to behave and have respect. We are living proof that consequences for actions helped us be assets to our community. We made it through and didn’t drop out or become criminals

    I’m so glad my children are now grown, thank God things were not as they are now. It’s my grandchildren I worry about.

    At least I know they are being taught proper behavior and respect. I can’t speak for anyone else.

  44. Dr. Corigan Malloy 1 year ago1 year ago

    This is a questionable panacea that blindly blankets a deeper issue – the lack of adequate attention to mental health and poverty. How willful is willful and what recourse does a teacher now have to deal with a child who is blatantly disrespectful, cursing, spitting, and/or refusing to follow directions to stop miscreant behavior? In-school suspensions require personnel to oversee the lot of children who are now allowed to remain in school, often … Read More

    This is a questionable panacea that blindly blankets a deeper issue – the lack of adequate attention to mental health and poverty. How willful is willful and what recourse does a teacher now have to deal with a child who is blatantly disrespectful, cursing, spitting, and/or refusing to follow directions to stop miscreant behavior?

    In-school suspensions require personnel to oversee the lot of children who are now allowed to remain in school, often at the expense of already strained budgetary issues and the lack of restorative justice trained personnel. Suspensions have the dual effect of sending a clear message, and involving the parent, who is now also affected {not unlike the several adults and dozens of other children who have to ignore, tolerate, cower from, or experience trauma from Young Kenny who told a teacher to shut the “f” up – and not once, but several times}. Without substantial resources in place to transfer this negative energy out of the learning and teaching environment, everyone still suffers.

  45. Jim 1 year ago1 year ago

    Another reason for parents to leave traditional public schools. Parents prefer fewer disruptive students, not more.

  46. Shelli Greene 1 year ago1 year ago

    When the same students end up in the criminal justice system, hold up a mirror and blame yourself

  47. Robb Lash 1 year ago1 year ago

    This is highly disappointing especially since there are very few in school suspension programs that are effective. We won’t forget this, Governor.

  48. Jenn Lynn-Whaley, Ph.D. 1 year ago1 year ago

    While I'm in favor of the intent of this law, I would've strongly preferred that there had been legislation passed prior to this law that established fiscal commitment to school-based mental health and wellness supports - namely: professional development in trauma-informed approaches, inclusion of social-emotional learning curricula and fulltime counselors and clinicians who can see any student (not just Medi-Cal) at every school. This would allow school staff to develop the skills and expertise in … Read More

    While I’m in favor of the intent of this law, I would’ve strongly preferred that there had been legislation passed prior to this law that established fiscal commitment to school-based mental health and wellness supports – namely: professional development in trauma-informed approaches, inclusion of social-emotional learning curricula and fulltime counselors and clinicians who can see any student (not just Medi-Cal) at every school. This would allow school staff to develop the skills and expertise in supporting students – rather than reacting to suspension being ‘off the table’ as one comment notes.

    This is reminiscent of banning solitary confinement in the juvenile system without training officers in alternate management skills. Expensive? Yes – but not compared with the cost of housing a single child in CA’s juvenile system or the cost of lawsuits alleging inadequate resources for students with complex trauma, as Compton Unified has recently experienced. We keep talking about the effects of trauma on behavior – and yet we make no meaningful commitment to support strategies to address it. The science is all there. Budgets are moral documents.

  49. Dr. Bill Conrad 1 year ago1 year ago

    Maybe the pretend and racist problem of willful defiance could be solved with the willful improvement of adult professional practices! Has anyone considered that the students might be defying authority because they are being subjected to mind numbing curricula and professional practices by educators who come out of color in the lines colleges of education woefully unprepared to teach and effectively manage the children? The kids are generally fine and ready to learn! It is the … Read More

    Maybe the pretend and racist problem of willful defiance could be solved with the willful improvement of adult professional practices!

    Has anyone considered that the students might be defying authority because they are being subjected to mind numbing curricula and professional practices by educators who come out of color in the lines colleges of education woefully unprepared to teach and effectively manage the children?

    The kids are generally fine and ready to learn! It is the adults who are screwed up!

    Professions do not throw out their clients! Amateurs do though. Maybe it’s time for the neophyte K-12 system to grow up!

    Replies

    • Bo Loney 1 year ago1 year ago

      Students of color are not the only students that are getting in trouble. I agree with you on how to some students the curriculum can be mind-numbing. Some students also are having a hard time. A lot of problems could be solved if the public school system would open its mind to researching Maria Montessori’s methods.

  50. Paul A Carmody 1 year ago1 year ago

    I anticipate large numbers of teachers will either retire or quit teaching as a result of this misguided law.

    Replies

    • Bill Conrad 1 year ago1 year ago

      And that is a bad thing?
      Let’s transform the colleges of mis-education and recruit highly qualified teacher candidates and train them well in content and professional practices so we don’t have to reply on the malpractice of suspensions which according to Hattie actually subtract knowledge from children!
      Time for the old guard to step aside and if the end of suspensions catalyze the departure, so be it!

      • Bo Loney 1 year ago1 year ago

        “Old Guard” is not necessarily the people that have been doing their best as teachers, but more the methodology. The education system was set up during the industrial age where we needed factory workers to sit down, be quiet and do their jobs. We need to revamp to the technological age. We need to free students minds. Maria Montessori was way ahead of her time.

      • Darryl Chriss 1 year ago1 year ago

        Indeed there is a need to broaden the curricula. Many colleges of education are doing their best to provide preservice teachers with instruction aligned to teaching in "urban" environments. The problem with colleges of education is that the majority of preservice teachers are still white and they are not interested in learning about issues that have to do with students of color. They are uncomfortable with the idea that issues that have to do students … Read More

        Indeed there is a need to broaden the curricula. Many colleges of education are doing their best to provide preservice teachers with instruction aligned to teaching in “urban” environments. The problem with colleges of education is that the majority of preservice teachers are still white and they are not interested in learning about issues that have to do with students of color. They are uncomfortable with the idea that issues that have to do students of color in the classroom are directly related to social exclusion and the prevalence of whiteness.

        Colleges of education would better serve public schooling by putting more emphasis into recruiting teacher candidates of color to teach in communities with high populations of students of color. However, too many students of color have no respect for teachers in general no matter whether they are of the same ethnicity of not; they are angry and hurt. But they still disrupt the learning process of students who are open and willing to learn.

    • Dr 1 year ago1 year ago

      hear, hear!

  51. Carolyn Alexander 1 year ago1 year ago

    With suspension off the table, teachers need an alternative to eliminate “willful defiance.” Check out the above link to “The Communication Workshop,” a program that has produced immediate visible shifts in students from negative behavior to being responsible.