In an effort to make the state’s education system even dumber, California legislators are considering legislation that would bar schools from suspending students who defy teachers or disrupt class. It is yet another foolhardy endeavor taken on by so-called progressives who think it will help to promote “equity” or some other nonsense.
The Epoch Times reported:
Senate Bill 274, introduced by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), said such suspensions lead to students dropping out and exacerbate learning loss at a time when many are still behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skinner also said such suspensions disproportionately affect Black male students, citing a 2018 study that reported they are three times more likely to be suspended for willful defiance than the statewide average.
“SB 274 is based on a simple premise: students belong in school,” Skinner said in a Feb. 1 press release. “Instead of kicking them out of school, we owe it to students to figure out what’s causing them to act out and help them fix it.”
If passed, the bill would permanently ban willful defiance suspensions from elementary through middle school by the fall of 2024. It would also prohibit suspensions for tardiness or truancy.
“The punishment for missing school should not be to miss more school,” Skinner asserted. “Students, especially those with behavioral issues, need to be in school where teachers and counselors can help them succeed.”
The idea is being met with criticism from people pointing out that this move would make it harder for other students to learn. Davina Keiser, a retired teacher who worked with the Long Beach Unified School District, told the Epoch Times that allowing disruptive behavior is “detrimental to the learning of everybody else in the classroom.”
“It’s almost like a license for the rest of the kids to go ahead and misbehave,” she said.
Keiser continued, explaining that “as teachers, I wanted students to know that there are boundaries, and they have to stay within those.”
The proposal is in line with the progressive push to inject a concept known as “restorative justice” in the school system. This approach focuses on mediation rather than punishment.
Lance Christensen, vice president of education policy and government affairs at the California Policy Center also took issue with the proposal. He noted that disruptive students who do not face consequences could “act out in larger measure later.”
“When these bills take away the tools for dealing with those who are willfully defiant, all they do is just move the violence to a higher level and escalate the violence,” he continued. “[Y]ou cannot just throw the baby out with the bathwater and get rid of a discipline policy that works.”
Christensen also pointed out that these issues tend to stem from the student’s home life. “Students with disintegrated families, or families conflicted with other problems, often don’t teach their children to respect authority and how to behave in a classroom and participate in a positive way,” the report noted.
“That’s a whole set of social ills that would take more than a piece of legislation to fix,” Christensen said.
As with most of their proposals, this one is designed to advance a “woke” agenda to make it appear as if California’s officials care about the plight of black students. As usual, their approach relies on lowering standards – both behavioral and academic – instead of helping these students rise to already-existing standards. The point is not to uplift black students, but to encourage them to remain behind their white peers.
Moreover, what about black students who are not disruptive and are in class to learn? How will allowing disruptive students to remain in the classroom help those who are not misbehaving? The answer is clear: It won’t. It will only make it harder for these students to perform up to standard. The result will be that more students suffer because these officials care more about appearing to be “equitable” than actually making sure that kids are prepared for adulthood.