New state data show a steep drop in suspensions and expulsions of California students, continuing a downward trend. Altogether, 20 percent fewer students were expelled and 15 percent fewer students were suspended in 2013-14 than in the previous year.
It’s a belief repeated every day by teachers, principals and parents of rule-abiding children: Suspending disruptive students will allow the rest of the class to settle down and learn. But a new, large study calls this rationale into question.
A new law that limits the use of “willful defiance” as a reason to expel or suspend students signifies a growing commitment on the part of the state to find more positive approaches to disciplining students.
Superintendents say teachers are the group most likely to object to policies that would reduce student suspensions, according to a new national survey on school discipline released Monday by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the nonprofit advocacy group the Children’s Defense Fund.
Gov. Jerry Brown and advocates for less punitive disciplinary policies have compromised on a bill that would prevent administrators from expelling students for “willful defiance,” according to Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, who is sponsoring the bill. It would also prevent schools from suspending and sending home K-3 students.