LA school district could become nation's first to ban suspensions

The Los Angeles Unified School District could move to ban suspensions of students who choose to defy rules. The board will deliberate on the bill tomorrow. 

Robert Harbison/The Christian Science Monitor/File
In this file photo, the downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen with the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

The Los Angeles Unified School District could become the nation's first to ban suspensions of students who are willfully defiant.

The school board on Tuesday is scheduled to consider the ban, which is supported by the school superintendent.

Currently, students can be suspended for refusing to remove a hat or cursing the teacher.

The Los Angeles Times says willful defiance suspensions accounted for nearly half of all California suspensions in the 2011-2012 school year. Black students were disproportionately affected.

Critics say it's a catch-all way of getting rid of underachievers that hurts the student but does nothing to solve behavior issues.

Supporters say defiant kids disrupt classes and reduce learning time. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have barred suspensions for defiance.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to