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CA bill moves to ban ‘willful defiance’ suspensions for all K-12




A student sits in detention.
A student sits in detention.
Jonathan Pobre/Flickr CC

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In 2014 California passed AB 420, banning the use of suspensions and expulsions for dealing with students who commit defiant and disruptive acts in grades K-3.

Now the state Senate has passed a new bill, SB 419, which would extend that ban to all grades K-12 through Jan. 1, 2025. On Monday, it cleared 30-8 in the Senate and now moves to the Assembly.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), SB 419’s primary author, is pushing for the extended ban as a way to keep students in school and prevent them from falling into the juvenile justice system, pointing to data showing that students of color or with disabilities or of the LGBT community “are disproportionately suspended for low-level subjective offenses.”

Opponents are concerned the move would strip further authority from administrators and teachers. We discuss.

We reached out to the Charter School Development Center, the only group in formal opposition against the bill, but did not receive a response at the time of this interview.

Guests:

Kyle Stokes, K-12 education reporter for KPCC; he tweets @kystokes

Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh, senior associate of government relations at Children Now, a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to children’s health, education and welfare; they’re a co-sponsor of the bill