Thursday, April 12, 2012

Legislators consider reforming student suspension practices | California Watch

Legislators consider reforming student suspension practices | California Watch:


Legislators consider reforming student suspension practices

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Persuaded that school discipline policies are far too harsh, California lawmakers are moving closer to enacting reforms aimed at stemming a rising tide of suspensions and expulsions in the nation’s largest state.
“I have seen too many children removed from school under the mandatory suspension and expulsion regime, when an application of common sense and an alternative punishment or appropriate interventions could have kept them on track and corrected their behavior,” Tim McKinley, a former FBI agent-turned-lawyer in Bakersfield, said yesterday during testimony before state Assembly members.
McKinley, who investigated criminal gangs at the bureau, was testifying before the Assembly Education Committee. Speaking in favor of a proposal to reform zero-tolerance policies in California schools, McKinley recounted the case of an 11-year-old boy he defended whose fight against expulsion for sexual battery was featured in a Center for Public Integrity report in December.
 
Yesterday, members of the Education Committee passed several bills designed to push school counseling as an 

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