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School Discipline

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 1995
Regarding your Jan. 4 article about the Denver middle school assistant principal who was suspended for being a strict disciplinarian: I was one of Michigan's best teachers (1989 Michigan teacher of the year first runner-up), but I retired early because there was little discipline in my building. When the eighth-grade boys acted like Beavis and Butthead, my principal said it was my problem. When one boy threatened to kill me and another to beat me up, I said, "So long," because I couldn't teach.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Federal officials kicked up their campaign against discriminatory school discipline policies last week, issuing first-ever guidelines for school districts on how to avoid racial disparities in student punishment. In a 23-page letter, officials with the U.S. departments of justice and education said they recognized that schools must use discipline to promote a "safe and orderly" environment but that federal data and investigations showed that African Americans were punished more harshly and frequently than whites in similar situations.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Federal officials kicked up their campaign against discriminatory school discipline policies Wednesday, issuing first-ever guidelines for school districts on how to avoid racial disparities in student punishments. In a 23-page letter, officials with the U.S. departments of justice and education said they recognized schools must use discipline to promote a “safe and orderly” environment but that federal data and investigations showed that African Americans were punished more harshly and frequently than whites in similar situations.
OPINION
September 5, 2013 | By Ruthann Robson
Hey kids, what are you going to wear to school today? A miniskirt? How short? "Sagging" pants: Is that kosher? What about a do-rag? Fishnet tights? Or hoodies, tattoos, sweat pants, frayed jeans, an Afro puff or, if you're a boy, long locks? How about a breast-cancer-awareness bracelet featuring the word "boobies"? All of these are real examples of fashion choices that schools across the country have recently attempted to restrict. The wrong choice could get you kicked out of class or suspended; and if you want to fight for your right to a hoodie or a short skirt, you and your parents may have to file suit and head for court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles School Police Department has issued new rules aimed at reducing the number of truancy tickets written to students and focusing efforts instead on helping these students get to and remain in school. The new policy in the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced Thursday, is the latest change from a campaign to reform traditional school discipline that, advocates of the new policy say, results in ethnic and racial profiling and hardships for students and families.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2012 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Advocates aiming to reform school discipline policies hailed Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday for signing four bills they say will help reduce the number of California students suspended each year. After years of community pressure, the movement to reduce suspensions has gained statewide momentum after several studies documented the large number of students affected, the disproportionate impact on African Americans and the correlation between suspensions and dropouts. Laura Faer of Public Counsel Law Center, a Los Angeles pro bono law firm, praised Brown's actions as an "important step forward" that would help keep countless students in school and on track to graduate.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2012 | By Jenny Deam and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
AURORA, Colo. - On May 2, D'Avonte Meadows, a 6-year-old with an infectious grin and rambunctious streak, was suspended for three days from Sable Elementary in suburban Denver for crooning "[I'm] Sexy and I Know It" to a girl in lunch line. The school declared it sexual harassment and told his parents that, because D'Avonte sang the same song to the same girl before, he is a repeat offender. The news media pounced. And Stephanie Meadows, D'Avonte's 29-year-old mother, gave her bewildered son, a special needs student, a crash course in birds, bees and sexual boundaries.
OPINION
September 5, 2013 | By Ruthann Robson
Hey kids, what are you going to wear to school today? A miniskirt? How short? "Sagging" pants: Is that kosher? What about a do-rag? Fishnet tights? Or hoodies, tattoos, sweat pants, frayed jeans, an Afro puff or, if you're a boy, long locks? How about a breast-cancer-awareness bracelet featuring the word "boobies"? All of these are real examples of fashion choices that schools across the country have recently attempted to restrict. The wrong choice could get you kicked out of class or suspended; and if you want to fight for your right to a hoodie or a short skirt, you and your parents may have to file suit and head for court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Damien Valentine knows painfully well about a national phenomenon that is imperiling the academic achievement of minority students, particularly African Americans like himself: the pervasive and disproportionate use of suspensions from school for mouthing off and other acts of defiance. The Manual Arts Senior High School sophomore has been suspended several times beginning in seventh grade, when he was sent home for a day and a half for refusing to change his seat because he was talking.
NEWS
September 3, 2002 | Sandy Banks
The stories must have sounded barbaric to the teenager sitting wide-eyed among adults at the breakfast table: Thirty-three swats with a wooden paddle for violating the dress code by wearing cuffed pants (a possible hiding place for cigarettes) in junior high. Being forced to bend over, naked, in front of teammates on the high school football team and take swats from the coach as punishment for a D or F on a report card.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Damien Valentine knows painfully well about a national phenomenon that is imperiling the academic achievement of minority students, particularly African Americans like himself: the pervasive and disproportionate use of suspensions from school for mouthing off and other acts of defiance. The Manual Arts Senior High School sophomore has been suspended several times beginning in seventh grade, when he was sent home for a day and a half for refusing to change his seat because he was talking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2012 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Advocates aiming to reform school discipline policies hailed Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday for signing four bills they say will help reduce the number of California students suspended each year. After years of community pressure, the movement to reduce suspensions has gained statewide momentum after several studies documented the large number of students affected, the disproportionate impact on African Americans and the correlation between suspensions and dropouts. Laura Faer of Public Counsel Law Center, a Los Angeles pro bono law firm, praised Brown's actions as an "important step forward" that would help keep countless students in school and on track to graduate.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2012 | By Jenny Deam and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
AURORA, Colo. - On May 2, D'Avonte Meadows, a 6-year-old with an infectious grin and rambunctious streak, was suspended for three days from Sable Elementary in suburban Denver for crooning "[I'm] Sexy and I Know It" to a girl in lunch line. The school declared it sexual harassment and told his parents that, because D'Avonte sang the same song to the same girl before, he is a repeat offender. The news media pounced. And Stephanie Meadows, D'Avonte's 29-year-old mother, gave her bewildered son, a special needs student, a crash course in birds, bees and sexual boundaries.
OPINION
March 10, 2012
The big announcement from the U.S. Department of Education implied that schools were unfairly disciplining African American students, and that's how it was played in news reports. "Minority students across America face harsher discipline," the agency's press release read, under a headline that called this an "educational inequity. " Indeed, minority students are more likely to be disciplined than whites are relative to their overall numbers in public school, and the difference is especially stark for African American students, who make up 18% of the student population but 35% of first-time suspensions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles School Police Department has issued new rules aimed at reducing the number of truancy tickets written to students and focusing efforts instead on helping these students get to and remain in school. The new policy in the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced Thursday, is the latest change from a campaign to reform traditional school discipline that, advocates of the new policy say, results in ethnic and racial profiling and hardships for students and families.
OPINION
May 13, 2007
Re "Learning discipline," editorial, May 7 Too often we hear "educrats" and politicians debate school reform without mentioning the civic responsibilities of students and parents. Each new proposal paints itself as the panacea that will bring excellence to education, yet our schools continue to struggle not for excellence but for simple adequacy. Although few reasonable people would wish a return to the days when teachers brought rulers down across students' knuckles, it is clear that something must be done to persuade students to respect their teachers, themselves and their peers by behaving appropriately in the classroom.
OPINION
February 16, 2007
Re "Gang up on truancy? Better late than never," column, Feb. 12 Truancy and delinquency are closely related to both reading and health issues. The reason students avoid school and drop out is often their lack of scholastic success. Why would anyone want to attend an activity in which he or she is deemed a failure? Poor reading is not just the schools' problem. Reading is a social activity that depends on social support. Growing up in a neighborhood in which books, libraries and a culture of reading are absent does not support academic success.
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