LAUSD board could ban suspensions for ‘willful defiance’
LAUSD considers banning the use of suspensions for ‘willful defiance,’ a move that would be a first for California. LAUSD has been a leader in reforming school discipline through looking at suspension data, and by using positive incentives to encourage better student behavior.
L.A. Superintendent John Deasy says, “Willful defiance has become a vehicle for getting rid of kids who are not achieving,” disproportionately effecting black males. At one high school in South L.A., teachers have already been using restorative justice practices and one student called it “an effective process. We talked about what happened and were friends at the end of the day.”
One student leader, Damien Valentine, who had been suspended for not changing refusing to change his seat says “Getting suspended doesn’t solve anything. It just ruins the rest of the day and keeps you behind.” Looking back, he felt it would have been more instructive if teachers had taken more time to speak and understand him instead of suspending him. Valentine says, “It’s about helping kids in our community go to college instead of being suspended. It can really make the difference in their lives.” Read More….