SF Schools’ New Suspension Policy Still Take Hard Line Towards Violent Behavior

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Students who show up to class unprepared or with a bad attitude would no longer be subject to suspension under a resolution approved Tuesday by the school board.

The policy makes the San Francisco Unified School District one of only a few in the nation to take the position that suspending students for minor offenses does more harm than good.

“Violence is not part of this. Activities that can hurt another student physically is not part of this,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “The worst case scenarios, are not what we’re talking about here.”

SF Schools' New Suspension Policy Still Take Hard Line Towards Violent Behavior

Instead, the district wants to discourage teachers from sending kids home for not having a pencil or paper, or not doing homework, problems better handled through counseling, Carranza said, “so that you don’t enter into a pattern where you’re consistently sending them out.”

Youth advocates presented statistics to the Board of Education Tuesday showing that teachers tend to suspend minority students.

Under the new policy to take effect next year, suspension would still be the preferred course of action for fighting and physical assaults, Carranza said, along with other situations “much more serious than just run of the mill willful defiance incidents.”

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