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  • John Franco

New Suspension Law

We know districts want to provide a safe and supportive school climate and culture because it leads to increased student engagement, attendance and achievement. With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share new and existing laws that support this goal.

New Legislation

Districts understand that suspensions and expulsions can potentially do harm. Removing young people from the active learning environment may turn those students toward permanent school failure without making schools safer or more effective. In light of this, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 419 into law on September 9, 2019.

  • Under current law, the state already bans suspensions for “willful defiance” [Ed. Code section 48900(k)] in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

  • SB 419, widens the ban to include grades 4 to 5.

  • Also, temporarily prohibits the ability to suspend grades 6 through 8 for the same EC 48900(k) acts (from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2025).

  • Students could still be removed from the classroom for willful defiance for up to two days as long as they didn’t have to leave the school, and participated in what is called an “in-school suspension.”

Existing Legislation

As part of the efforts to ensure a safe school environment, the following legislation is currently in existence:

Ed. Code 49079 – Notification to Teachers

  • If a school district receives knowledge that a specific student has known violent propensities, it’s the school district’s duty to warn teachers.

  • Districts must provide teachers a list of their students who have been suspended or expelled, engaged in, or are reasonably suspected to have engaged in, acts of risky behavior from their previous three school years.

Our Behavior Alert clients are taking the reasonable steps necessary to protect their staff and their students by complying with Ed. Code 49079.

Ed. Code sections 32280-32289 – Comprehensive School Safety Plans

  • All California schools are required to develop a comprehensive school safety plan.

  • For the plan to be compliant, it must include various information intended to help schools identify elements and resources important in improving school climate and safety.

  • One of these components includes a comprehensive process for notifying teachers per Ed. Code 49079.

As part of our Risk Management service, our clients are receiving safety plan reviews and assistance with shoring up any deficient areas.

We are proud to be partnering with districts to support their efforts with taking reasonable steps necessary to protect their students and staff.

If I can answer any questions or you would like our service, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Mike Brown, Good Governance Program Manager

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