The LAUSD board will vote tomorrow on whether to ban suspensions for acts of defiance. The resolution would prevent suspensions for defiant acts like mouthing off to teachers, instead installing disciplinary measures that would take place while students remained in school.
If passed, the ban would mark a major shift from a zero-tolerance policy for willful defiance. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has been monitoring school suspensions and has made progress in reducing them. He and other backers of the ban argue that “restorative justice” is more effective in changing behavior without disadvantaging students.
The mediations required by new disciplinary measures take time and are more costly than suspensions – will LAUSD be able to manage financially if the resolution passes? How could a ban on willful defiance suspensions change things for students and teachers? Is it more appropriate for discipline to take place in school, or are suspensions effective in modifying behavior?
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President of Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention
Judith Perez, Ph.D., President of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, the union that represents principals, assistant principals and other administrators at LAUSD