Thursday, December 20, 2012

School alternatives to suspension.

New state law as of Jan.1, schools must seek alternatives to suspension.  One alternative is called Restorative Justice.
Teachers, administrators, FYI

What Does AB 1729 Do And How Does It Help Students?

1.     Sets out the legislature’s intent that alternatives to suspension and expulsion should be used and school exclusion should be avoided and recognizes that vulnerable student groups are receiving the brunt of all discipline removals in California!  This is important because it tells school districts who are using harsh and punitive out-of-school discipline and giving more punishments to students of color and others that state law does not support this and that they need to change their practices.  Here are a few things that the legislature said:
  “The overuse of school suspension and expulsion undermines the public policy of this state and does not result in safer school environments or improved pupil behavior.”
  “School suspension and expulsion are disproportionately imposed on pupils of color, pupils with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pupils, and other vulnerable pupil populations.”
  “Research has found that nonpunitive classroom discipline . . . are more effective and efficient than suspension and expulsion for addressing the majority of pupil misconduct.”
  “The public policy of this state is to provide effective interventions for pupils . . .  avoid exclusion from school.”

2.     Requires other means of correction be used and FAIL prior to “in-school suspension” in addition to “out-of-school suspension”.  This is important because we want to be sure that schools are working to teach students how to correct their behavior and re-integrate into the school community before they lose valuable instruction time.
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