A California bill that would outlaw the practice of suspending pupils for intentional defiance, often known as disrupting class or challenging teachers, is close to becoming law.
According to current law, a student cannot be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion unless the superintendent of the school district or the principal of the school where the student is enrolled finds that the student has engaged in one of several specific offenses, such as interfering with school activities or willfully disobeying supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel.
Sen. Nancy Skinner’s (D-Berkeley) Senate Bill 274 was adopted by the state Senate in May by a vote of 36-3 and sent to the state Assembly, where it was placed on the “suspense file”, a repository for legislation that necessitates a substantial outlay of money on August 23.
But on September 1, the state Assembly’s fiscal committee revived the measure in a 12-3 vote, and on September 7, the Assembly’s floor, the measure passed 31-6.
By extending such suspensions to all grades TK–12 by the autumn of 2024, the new bill builds on Ms. Skinner’s now-passed 2019 legislation, which had previously permanently outlawed such punishments statewide for classes TK–8 until 2025.
Additionally, it would outlaw the suspension or expulsion of pupils because of truancy or tardiness.
This bill seeks to expand the existing ban on suspending students in grades 6 to 8, including those attending charter schools, for disruptions or willful defiance of authority. The extension would cover all grade levels for an additional four years, until July 1, 2029. Additionally, starting on July 1, 2024, the bill would prevent the suspension of students in grades 9 to 12, including charter school students, for these reasons until July 1, 2029. However, it would still allow teachers to suspend students in any grade for any of the specified offenses, including willful defiance, for the day of the suspension and the following day, as currently authorized.