DHF is part of a group of organizations that are working together to reduce harsh disciplinary measures in schools, such as expulsion and suspension, because research shows these discipline policies push young people away from education and into the criminal justice system or a life of poverty.
We worked hard to pass AB 420, which eliminates suspensions for our youngest children (kindergarten through third grade), and all expulsions for all students for minor misbehavior such as talking back, not having school materials and dress code violations.
AB 420 places limits on the use of school discipline for the catch-all category known as “willful defiance,” which also includes minor school disruption. Willful defiance accounts for 43% of suspensions issued to California students, and is the suspension offense category with the most significant racial disparities.
The law eliminates in-school and out-of-school suspensions for children in grades K-3 for disruptive behavior currently captured in Education Code section 48900(k) and bans all expulsions for this reason. Under this law, schools can still suspend for 23 other reasons including bullying, fighting, and stealing. This law will be in place for 3 years only through 2017.
We are now evaluating how AB420 has been implemented in schools, to understand what types of changes have taken place in schools and in outcomes for our young people and families.
We hope you will take this short survey to help us understand you and your child’s experience with discipline in schools.
Please click on the survey link below – one for Spanish, one for English. These surveys are for parents of students who are or were in grades K-3 at any point since Jan 1, 2015. Please distribute these surveys far and wide to parents in all of your networks. The goal is to collect at least 100 parent surveys over the next month.
English survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AB420Survey
Spanish survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EncuestaAB420