Tuesday, May 14, 2013

LAUSD Considers Ending Suspensions For "Defiance."

The Los Angeles Times (5/13, Watanabe) reports on the "pervasive and disproportionate use of suspensions from school for mouthing off and other acts of defiance" in US schools, saying that the phenomenon is particularly noted among students of color. The Times reports on how the issue impacts students in Los Angeles, and profiles a student who "has joined a Los Angeles County-wide effort to push a landmark proposal by school board President Monica Garcia that would make LA Unified the first school district in California to ban suspensions for willful defiance." Noting that critics describe the offense as arbitrary and ill-defined, the Times reports that nearly half of all suspensions during the last school year were for willful defiance. The measure to ban the practice "would mark a watershed moment in a long battle by community activists against 'zero tolerance' policies adopted after the Columbine school shooting."

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