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News Update

San Francisco middle school reportedly in chaos; lack of suspensions cited

Conditions at San Francisco’s Marina Middle School have descended into chaos with students roaming the halls when they should be in class and violence commonplace, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

Teachers, counselors and security staff who have left or are still working at the 570-student school report that recent incidents include students recording videos of themselves as they beat another student, three female students assaulting a special-education student and a student bringing an air gun to school — all without documented suspensions at the time of those incidents, the Examiner reported.

The Examiner reported that the conditions could be an unintended consequence of California’s anti-suspension mandate and reliance on restorative justice programs. But Cassondra Curiel, president of United Educators of San Francisco, told the newspaper that restorative justice training has stopped since before the pandemic, “possibly because restorative justice trainers have been reassigned to teach in the classroom,” she said. A San Francisco Unified School District spokesperson told the Examiner that restorative justice training is available online.