Skinner Bill Would Ban Schools From Suspending Students For ‘Willful Defiance’


A bill that would ban schools and principals from suspending students for willful defiance passed through the Senate Monday in a 30-8 vote. It now moves to the Assembly.

Under Senate Bill 419, it would keep kids in school by eliminating the suspension of students for low-level offenses known as “willful defiance. The bill would also apply to charter schools.

Existing law already applies for grades K-3 after AB 420 in 2013 passed the legislator and last year the state legislator and governor extended the k-3 ban permanently. Skinners bill would apply a ban for K-12 students through Jan. 1, 2025.

Under SB 419, teachers would retain the right to remove disruptive students from the classroom; the bill would only preempt full suspension, or removal of a student from school, for minor offenses.

Five California school districts have eliminated willful defiance suspensions, including Oakland Unified in Sen. Skinner’s district, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pasadena, and Azusa.

“SB 419 puts the needs of kids first,” Sen. Skinner said. “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.”

SB 419 is also designed to help reduce dropout rates in California. According to the 2012 Johns Hopkins University study, Sent Home and Put Off-Track, “being suspended even once in 9th grade is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk for dropping out.”

“Suspensions are not a formula for student success. Kids lose valuable instruction time causing them to fall behind in their studies; those same students are also more likely to drop out,” Skinner said. “Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong and where teachers and counselors can help them thrive.”

Editors Note: quotes pulled from Feb 27 Press Release


  1. STUPID!! Public school are already over crowded, underfunded and are forced to babysit misbehaving kids. The good kids lose out. How about funding the schools properly before adding even more bs to the already overworked staff!!

  2. What ever happened to OCS? (On campus susspension) then they are isolated from negatively influencing others and disrupting others but still in school and still receive class work to do in a Confined room in scilence not alloud to speak unless your on your lunch or bathroom breaks. That’s how it use to be

  3. This action needs to come attached to funding for Restorative practice or additional counselors. Simply ignoring bad behavior doesn’t do anyone any good.

  4. This is the reason our parents sent all 4 of us to private schools and we are forever grateful to them.

  5. No one seems to support the good kids who do not disrupt classrooms in government schools. Even bright kids are not supported but support only goes to those who can’t even keep up with the basic principles of the subject matter. Now, with this stupid law, things will get worse because some troublemakers can’t be removed from the schools thanks to these BLEEDING HEART lawmakers like this Skinner woman.

  6. More BS out of Sacramento

    Don’t you have more important business to tend to in Sacramento? I what a waste these legislators are, all of them!!!

  7. “Willful defiance?” What the kid needs is a good asswhoopin’….. that’ll cure him from any “defiance,” willful or not.

  8. No wonder fewer and fewer people are going into the teaching profession here in CA. Who wants to put up with such crap as having to tolerate some idiot kid’s “willful defiance.” This “defiance” is a classroom disruption and the kid should be kicked out of the school.

    • I avoid Beserkley like the plague! Some German friends of mine said that being there reminds them of what East Berlin was like during the communist era.

  9. So? The kid can act up and disrupt an entire classroom because “willful defiance” is now acceptable? So, it’s OK for other students to be impacted by this? Is this Skinner woman INSANE? It is not the teacher’s nor anyone else’s job in the school to do psychological counseling! The kid should be given one warning and if this “willful defiance” continues, he or she is out of there! Case closed!

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