California’s Biggest School District Is On Board!

It’s one of the biggest endorsements for school discipline change yet! California’s biggest school district is on board to fix school discipline.

On Thursday, June 28, the Los Angeles school board voted unanimously for a resolution to support seven bills.

“Student discipline policies should focus on helping pupils improve negative behavior with research-based strategies, appropriate interventions and multiple levels of support,” Los Angeles school board member Nury Martinez said in an
email to constituents. “While there must be consequences, the primary goal should be increasing the number of students who continue their education while reducing the number who are suspended from a school or expelled from an entire District.”

Board member and co-sponsor Steve Zimmer said, “We, our entire school community, need to work together as never before to make sure all students are in school in seats and learning.”

Students, parents, and civil rights groups who are part of the Dignity in Schools L.A. campaign said the school district was “leading the way for the state.”

“African American boys are disproportionately being taken out of the learning environment more than any other group of students by being sent to the office, suspended, and expelled,” said Roslyn Broadnax, a South LA parent and CADRE leader whose children have attended LAUSD schools. “L.A. is leading the way for the state with this historic resolution to reform school disciplinary policies.”

“Harsh school discipline policies not only fail to ‘scare kids straight,’ they make it more likely that some of our most vulnerable students drop out and enter the juvenile justice system and, later, our adult criminal system,” said Ruth Cusick, staff attorney at Public Counsel, which is sponsoring several of the statewide bills.

Click here to read the resolution (pdf)

Click here to read L.A. school board member Nury Martinez’s announcement of the resolution (pdf)

Click here to read the full statement from Dignity in Schools L.A. at Public Counsel’s website.

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