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Resolution, Monica García – 2013 School Discipline Policy and School Climate

Bill of Rights

Whereas, The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) understands that
student achievement begins with keeping students in a safe classroom and healthy
environment conducive to learning and free from disruption; and is committed to
closing the achievement gap by providing access to all students a vigorous
education that ensures all students will graduate college prepared and career ready;
Whereas, LAUSD is a proven model and continues improving discipline policies
with the adoption of the Discipline Foundation Policy (BUL-3638.0) that
establishes a consistent framework for implementing and developing a culture of
discipline grounded in positive behavior interventions and away from punitive
approaches that infringe on instruction time;
Whereas, Restorative Justice approaches build on and work in conjunction with the
positive behavior interventions in the Discipline Foundation Policy because they
are an appropriate prevention and intervention approach within the tiered
intervention process and because they seek accountability through understanding
the impact of school discipline incidents and repairing the harm caused through a
shared decision-making process which addresses root causes to prevent future
harm and supports the healing of all parties.
Whereas, The District’s Student Discipline and Expulsion Support Unit has been a
model for other school districts in the state and the nation due to the District’s
expulsion rate of 0.02% (136 of 595,314 enrolled students) for 2010-2011 school
year; and is in compliance with AB 922 that provides educational and support
services as well as facilitates the reinstatement process for all expelled students;
Whereas, The District requires full implementation of Discipline Foundation
Policy: School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS), where every school
completes the Safe School Plan, Volume 1, including assessment of the
implementation of the Discipline Foundation Policy, and identification of a goal
addressing the implementation of the policy;
Whereas, Discipline and policy procedures such as The Guidelines for Student
Suspensions (BUL- 5655.1) clearly stipulate that suspension, including supervised
suspension, should be utilized for adjustment purposes only when other means of
correction have failed to bring about proper conduct and/or safety is at risk, as well
as, provides alternatives to suspension that are age appropriate and designed to
address and correct the student’s specific misconduct;
Whereas, Discipline and policy procedures such as Expulsion of Students (BUL-
4655.2) clearly stipulate that expulsion should be regarded as a last resort of
intervention and should be considered only for those offenses that the principals
are mandated to recommend expulsion, other means of correction have failed to
bring about proper conduct, or when the misbehavior poses a serious safety risk to
Whereas, Studies by EdSource indicate that a large number of suspensions are
commonly attributed to Willful Defiance (E.C. 48900) which account for nearly
42% of suspensions in California and 36% in the District;
Whereas, attachment G, Top Ten Alternatives to Suspension, and attachment I,
Consequences/School Reference Guide, in the Discipline Foundation Policy (BUL-
3638.0) as well as the Matrix for Student Suspensions and Expulsion
Recommendations provide guidance on when suspension and expulsion are
considered an appropriate response to misconduct;
Whereas, District data from the 2011-2012 Performance Meter indicates that the
number of instruction days lost to suspension has impressively decreased since the
inception of the Discipline Foundation Policy from 74,765 in 2006-07 to 26,286 in
Whereas, Studies indicate that suspension does not often result in positive behavior
conditioning and furthermore can instead intensify misbehavior by increasing
shame, alienation, and rejection amongst students, and a study from Texas found
that students are 5 times more likely to dropout, 6 times more likely to repeat a
grade, and 3 times more likely to have contact with the juvenile justice system if
Whereas, A disproportionate number of African American students and students
with disabilities are suspended relative to their counterparts;
Whereas, The California Education Code and the California Penal Code clearly
define the role of law enforcement agencies related to student safety and school
based policing roles, so that the use of law enforcement is minimized when
Resolved that the Superintendent shall amend the Discipline Foundation Policy
and any related discipline or other policies to be in accordance with state law, as of
January 1, 2013, as reflected in, AB 2616, AB 2537, AB 1729, SB 1088 and
AB 1909;
Resolved that the Superintendent shall in keeping with the goals of AB 1729
develop an objective Discipline Matrix with the input of the SWPBIS Task Force
as discussed further below that shall establish which interventions (a.k.a. “other
means of correction”), at a minimum shall be utilized for all students and in a
consistent and age appropriate manner prior to all suspensions, except those
limited offenses where suspension is required under California Education Code
§48915(c). The superintendent shall take steps to reinforce the legal process for
issuing suspensions in LAUSD.
Resolved that the Superintendent shall establish a School Discipline Bill of Rights
as follows:
Alternative to School Suspension: Unless suspension is required under
category 1 (also known as Ed. Code §48915(c)), no student shall be
suspended until a school demonstrates that it has exhausted all alternatives to
suspension, as outlined in the Discipline Matrix. All students shall have the
right to in and out of school alternatives to suspensions.
Disruption/Willful Defiance: Beginning Fall 2013, no student shall be
suspended or expelled for a “willful defiance” (48900(k) offense.
Restorative Justice: By 2020, as an alternative to traditional school discipline,
all schools shall develop and implement restorative justice defined as:
Practices that resolve school disciplinary incidents by having (personnel
trained in restorative approaches) and all parties involved come together,
identify the harm that was caused, and determine who was responsible. The
group, generally through a circle conferencing process, then develops a
shared process for repairing harm and addressing root causes to prevent
future harm. Restorative Justice will be used as an intervention consistent
with the SWPBIS policy for all school disciplinary incidents unless a
recommendation for expulsion is required as under California Education
Code Section 48915.
Beginning 2015 and every year thereafter, the district shall provide training
to school sites identified by the Superintendent based on suspension data in
restorative justice as defined above within 60 days of:
• finding that any school has more than 15% of a particular subgroup or
10% of overall students, suspended, or 10% of a particular subgroup or
10% of overall students, arrested or given citations, from the prior school
year. Such finding shall be made each October based on data collected
from the prior year.
• Such training shall ensure that any student who requests this as an
alternative to be utilized in the school shall have the right to have
restorative justice utilized to address the harm to the school community
and reintegrate the student.
Data: Every student and parent shall have a right to obtain the following
aggregate data on discipline in the District on a monthly basis using website
publishing by service area centers:
• In and Out-of-school suspension, involuntary transfer, opportunity
transfer, expulsion, citation, police complaints, arrests and schoolbased
arrest data for the school-site or the District for three months
to a year preceding the request and the number of instructional
days and amount of Average Daily Attendance funding lost to
suspension, transfer, expulsion and arrest.
• Such data shall be disaggregated by all subgroups, including race,
ethnicity, ELL status, disability and gender (include legal
definition of gender), by socio-economic status and by offense, but
shall be provided in a way to maintain the privacy of individual
School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support:
• All students shall have the right to School-Wide Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) that reduce suspensions, increase
attendance, improve test scores and has buy in and support from all
school personnel.
• All students and parents have the right to file formal complaints if
SWPBIS is not implemented in 60 days of student’s request on campus.
A finding of the failure to fully implement shall be redressed through an
on-site process involving parents and students to develop a school-site
implementation plan and the training and other tools necessary to resolve
the failure to fully implement within 130 days. The failure to fully
implement can be identified by the failure to among other things:
a. Include parents in the implementation efforts and provide training to
parents on SWPBIS
b. To set publicly measurable outcomes and benchmarks for decreasing
the number of students for each race and ethnic subgroup that are
referred to the office, suspended, involuntarily transferred, or expelled
from school;
c. To have a school-based team, which includes a parent, to guide the
implementation efforts;
d. Have a clear set of positive behavior rewards and a positive behavior
system that is evident and used by all staff and known to all students;
e. Have objective and simple behavior expectations that are defined and
f. Have a three tiered intervention system with clear interventions
available at each level and a system for identifying student in need
and objectively and consistently providing such interventions;
g. Regularly collect and analyze discipline data and share it with the
school community to inform their disciplinary practices and
Defining role of police on campus and limiting involvement in non-threatening
school discipline actions:
• The District recognizes the serious potential consequences for youth of
law enforcement and juvenile court involvement and wishes to prevent
unnecessary criminalization of student behaviors at school. Students
have the right to safe school environments that minimize the involvement
of law enforcement, probation and the juvenile and criminal justice
system, to the greatest extent possible.
• The District shall review and evaluate all current school police policies,
practices and training relating to the equitable treatment of students.
• The District shall furthermore review the data on the use of school-based
citations and arrests and identify and remedy frequent use at individual
school sites.
• The District is committed to a non-criminal enforcement model that
supports strategic problem-solving models rather than citation and arrestdriven
• The majority of student conduct shall be handled administratively
utilizing school-based interventions that are intended to maximize student
engagement in the classroom and school setting.
• To the greatest extent possible, and in lieu of the use of citations and
arrests, schools shall implement school-wide positive behavior
interventions and supports and restorative justice programs that improve
school safety and academic performance.
• Clear guidelines regarding the roles and responsibilities of campus police
officers on campus shall be established and shall contain criteria to
properly distinguish administrative responses to student conduct pursuant
to school district policies and state law, from criminal responses.
• District policy regarding school police shall be updated and each year
school safety plans shall be reviewed consistent with district policy to
include clear guidelines regarding the roles and responsibilities of
campus police officers and contain criteria to properly distinguish
administrative responses to student conduct pursuant to school district
policies and state law, from criminal responses.
Appeals to Suspensions and Grievance Process:
• To ensure that students and parents understand and have notice of
their existing right pursuant to suspension policy (BUL-3819, pg. 14)
and state and federal law, to appeal their suspensions, when
suspension notifications are issued to parents/guardians, this
notification will include clear information on the steps and timeline to
initiate a suspension appeal.
Healthy, Holistic School Environments: All students have the right to
holistic, healthy school environments that support students in all aspects of
their health and well-being. The Superintendent shall work with
community, business, and philanthropic partners to ensure schools have
access to full service community schools.
Be it further resolved that the role of the SWPBIS Task Force established
under the SWPBIS Policy shall be augmented to provide a stronger
oversight role to achieve “full implementation” as follows, the SWPBIS
Task Force shall:
a. Make meetings times accessible to students during non-school
b. Within 60 days of this resolution develop the objective criteria by
which full implementation of the SWPBIS Policy shall be
measured, which shall include measurements for determining
whether key elements have been met and to establish outcomes and
benchmarks for reductions in office discipline referrals,
suspensions, involuntary transfers, and expulsions in the District
and from individual schools;
c. Meet monthly at a regularly set time and with the appropriate
notice required by and following the open meeting provisions of
the Brown Act and shall have the authority to request access to all
necessary documents and materials to be able to assess full
implementation of the SWPBIS Policy;
d. At each meeting, hear from individuals who have concerns about
implementation and provide a forum to bring information or
complaints to the attention of the SWPBIS Task Force;
e. Report on its finding related to full implementation at least once
per year at a School Board meeting at which the item shall be
f. Have the authority to review and make recommendations regarding
the Discipline Matrix developed by the Superintendent and shall
recommend to approve such matrix prior to its implementation;
g. The independent auditor required by the Policy (BUL-3638, pgs 7,
10-11), shall provide an annual report to the Board regarding
findings of individual complaints and broader recommendations
regarding implementation and monitoring;
Be it resolved that charter schools shall comply with the LAUSD Discipline
Foundation Policy (BUL-3638) and the terms of the School Discipline Policy and
School Climate Bill of Rights Resolution.
Finally, be it further resolved that the Superintendent shall:
1. Present a report to the Governing Board regarding how and when he will
implement all of the above including implications for staffing and
support for school sites and update the Discipline Policy to include these
requirements within 120 days from passage of this resolution;
2. Make available the final resolution to the public, principals and
necessary personnel 30 days after;
3. Develop and implement a training plan for school leadership and
personnel, parents and students that shall be fully implemented in the
2013-2014 school year.
4. The Superintendent shall give quarterly updates on progress of the
implementation of the Student Bill of Rights to the Board and SWPBIS
5. The Superintendent will do a yearly review and adjust for trends and
outcomes as well as recommendations by community including but not
limited to the SWPBIS Task Force.