Poll: More than 80% Support Fixing School Discipline

A newly released poll of Californians shows more than 80% support changes to harsh school discipline rules that led to the suspension or expulsion of more than 400,000 students in 2009-2010 and more than 750,000 suspensions in the same year.

Californians Want to Fix School DisciplineAre you in the 80%? Click here to send your name to California legislators and show your support as the California Legislature holds hearings in Sacramento.

Here’s the message we’re sending:

Out-of-school suspensions and expulsions affect more than 400,000 California students. We need to keep students in school. I’m joining educators, parents, judges, and law enforcement to ask for common-sense solutions that will reduce suspensions and still hold students accountable.

Here’s what the poll found:

  • Four in five voters believe that California school discipline policies need changing.  Survey respondents were asked whether public school discipline policies need major changes, minor changes or no changes.  Fully 80% believed changes are needed, with 41% saying major changes are in order.
  • Californians voice high levels of support for preventive approaches to school discipline, such as teaching character development and conflict resolution from a young age and teaching positive behavior and skills for managing emotions and making better decisions.  Voters believe an effective school system should prevent discipline problems and not simply punish students after problems occur.
  • California voters believe teachers and schools should have more resources when it comes to school discipline.  The survey shows 85% of respondents said teachers should have more tools to manage discipline in their classroom, with large majorities supporting expanding student access to counseling services, mental health and substance abuse services.

Click here to read a summary of the new California school discipline poll from The California Endowment (Word file)

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