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Students may not be suspended from school if California bill passes

Students may not be suspended from school if California bill passes
Posted at 10:53 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 01:53:16-04

Currently students from Kindergarten to 3rd grade can't be suspended for being disruptive or disobeying teachers and staff, but if Senate Bill 419 is passed, the same would apply for students from Kindergarten to 8th grade.

Schools would then look for alternatives other than the usual punishment, suspension, and locals we spoke with are in support.

"By suspending children and them not going to school, if that's their main goal, then I think they'll continue to act out. So I think by working through it in different ways could be more beneficial for the child themselves" said Victoria Jumphrey, San Luis Obispo

"If you send them home, they're not going to learn anything but to go home and there's no one there to discipline them or do anything," said San Luis Obispo resident Mitchell Cambria.

If approved, this bill would not only create change for students, it would do the same for school districts.

"If we do this it would certainly cause some changes in practice for us. We do occasionally suspend students in those grade levels for those types of issues if needed, and it is one tool in our tool belt, that we use if we have to," said Hillery Dixson, assistant superintendent of curriculum, Lucia Mar Unified School District.

While some parents argue disruptive students should not remain in class, superintendents and principals say there are other solutions to help correct student's behaviors, and some are already in place at the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

"Programs with peer meditation, where students help each other solve problems, exploring restorative justice practices, we have a variety of schools that are working through restorative circles. There are lots of strategies, that in many cases do work better for students," said Dixson.

Lucia Mar School District Officials say those other solutions have showed success in reducing the number of suspensions.