Gov. Newsom Signs SB 419, Ending Willful Defiance Suspensions

Press Release

9

Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 419 by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. SB 419 is designed to keep kids in school by eliminating willful defiance suspensions in grades 4-5 and banning them in grades 6-8 for five years. The new law applies to both traditional public schools and charter schools.

“SB 419 puts the needs of kids first,” Sen. Skinner said. “Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong and where teachers and counselors can help them thrive.”

SB 419 received bipartisan support in the California Legislature, winning approval in the state Senate on a 31-8 vote, and garnering a 58-17 vote in the state Assembly. It takes effect on July 1, 2020.

Willful defiance suspensions are a highly subjective category of suspensions that include a student not removing a hat or hoodie in class. Research has shown that willful defiance suspensions have been disproportionately used to discipline students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities.

According to the 2018 report, “Get Out: Black Male Suspensions in California Public Schools,” by professors at UCLA and San Diego State University, among black male students, willful defiance suspensions represent 15% of all suspensions in grades 4-6 and 21% in grades 7-8. Overall, the suspension rate for black males in California schools is nearly four times the student average.

But research shows no evidence that African-American over-representation in school suspensions is due to higher rates of misbehavior. In fact, according to a comprehensive 2018 report and a review of research by the U.S. Government Accounting Office, “implicit bias on the part of teachers and staff may cause them to judge students’ behaviors differently based on the students’ race and sex.”

Several California school districts have already eliminated willful defiance suspensions, including Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento. In 2013, the Legislature passed AB 420, which prohibited willful defiance suspensions statewide for grades K-3 until July 2018, the ban on K-3 suspensions was made permanent in a 2018-19 budget trailer bill. SB 419 now extends the existing ban on willful defiance suspensions to grades 4 and 5 statewide, with the prohibition on such suspensions for grades 6 through 8, sunsetting in five years.

“Ending willful defiance suspensions may be the one of the best ways to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline,” Skinner added.

Sen. Nancy Skinner represents the 9th Senate District.


9 COMMENTS

  1. This is the reason our kids now go to PRIVATE schools so they can learn without some idiot kid starting to act up and disrupt the class.

  2. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley should institute that law into her own district and not make the rest of us put up with it. She created it? It should stay in Berkeley. Why do the rest of us have to suffer? Nothing wrong with these disruptive kids that a good ass-whoopin’ won’t cure!

  3. Again a bill which harms only the good kids, because they will be disturbed much more – “willful defiance” kids will use their new powers extensively. The best way to handle willful defiance is punishment. These kids don’t learn anything from their parents, no rules, nothing. In older times those kids learned at least some rules at school. Unfortunately no more. Stupid identity politics kills everything, in the end our beloved society.

  4. Of course the angle was race related. Ask any teacher or parent if they want a distraction holding the rest of the kids back. What a joke like Gavin himself. Less and less accountability, structure and discipline.

  5. Most of these disruptive kids probably only have one parent or their grandmother is “raising” them. I see that more and more parents who want their kids’ education uninterrupted by these creeps, are taking their kids out of government schools and enrolling them in private schools.

  6. State Senator Skinner (Berkeley, where else?) should have that law apply ONLY to her schools in HER district and not push it on the rest of the state! Why should Berkeley’s school problems be pushed on the rest of us?

  7. I’m not sure of her name, but I actually heard a former teacher supporter (notice former–sell out) gush, “….need to practice Yoga and meditation” to help these disruptive students. Really? What about the other 31 or 23 kids? Are we supposed to all do Yoga and meditation, or do I, the classroom teacher, leave those well behaved students to go practice Yoga and meditation with the disruptor? This is insane. I have students look me in the face, flip me off, cuss at me, and refuse to do assignments. What about the almighty state test??? Yoga and meditation???? Not going to produce advanced or proficient students.

  8. I’m not sure of her name, but I actually heard a former teacher supporter (notice former–sell out) gush, “….need to practice Yoga and meditation” to help these disruptive students. Really? What about the other 31 or 23 kids? Are we supposed to all do Yoga and meditation, or do I, the classroom teacher, leave those well behaved students to go practice Yoga and meditation with the disruptor? This is insane. I have students look me in the face, flip me off, cuss at me, and refuse to do assignments. What about the almighty state test??? Yoga and meditation???? Not going to produce advanced or proficient students.

Comments are closed.