Los Angeles teachers complain that suspension ban is creating unruly classes

The Associated Press (via the Mail) is reporting that teachers in the second largest school district in the United States say a new policy aimed at reducing suspensions is resulting in more unruly students in their classrooms.

Los Angeles Unified School District was the first to ban suspending students for defiance in California and began instituting restorative justice policies that emphasize counseling and conflict resolution.

Teachers now blame LA Unified for failing to provide the necessary staff and training to effectively implement those policies, the Los Angeles Times reports .

Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he agrees: While he supports the discipline policy pushed through by his predecessor, Cortines said the initiative has been poorly executed.

“You cannot piecemeal this kind of thing and think it is going to have the impact that it should have,” he said.

Suspensions across the district declined to 0.55 percent last year compared to 8 percent in 2007-08. That reduction came amid a nationwide push to eliminate zero-tolerance policies that emphasize harsh discipline for even minor misbehavior…

The district’s teachers union is planning to start its own training amid widespread complaints from teachers.

“We’re now carrying the consequences of … not enough staffing to make it work and a lot of frustration,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles…

More at: LA Unified teachers: Suspension ban creating unruly classes


In your experience, if you are going to stop suspensions, what training, policies or systems need to be put in place to cope with the consequences?

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  1. teach_well

    tombennett71 Yet more learning lost, more teachers who will be lost and students who learn only that there is no real consequence to beh.

  2. TeachTalks

    tombennett71 more the inevitable result of implementing policies piecemeal without support network and training…sounding familiar?

  3. GeoffJames42

    tombennett71 You’re right – sound evidence that punishment does not promote learning + poorly trained staff don’t either nancygedge

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