Gov. Brown signs, vetoes, student discipline bills

Public Counsel, a non-profit law firm that has promoted an overhaul of school discipline policy, released this summary of bills signed and vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Note: The descriptions of each bill are theirs, not mine.

Bills Brown has signed:

  • AB 1729 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) changes existing law to strengthen the alternatives to suspension or expulsion and clarify that school removals should only happen after other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.
  • AB 1909 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) ensures that school districts provide notification to foster parents or other county child welfare designees and the court-appointed attorney for the foster youth when a foster youth is pending expulsion.
  • AB 2537 by Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) provides additional discretion to school administrators to use alternative means of correction in lieu of expulsion and further clarifies that possessing an imitation firearm, over-the-counter medicine or student’s prescription medicines are not “zero tolerance” offenses that automatically require expulsion. It also eliminates an existing $500 fine imposed on a principal who fail to notify law enforcement of certain crimes allegedly committed by students.
  • AB 2616 by Assemblymember Wilmer Carter (D-Rialto) will focus truancy reduction efforts on solutions with schools, students and parents that are shown to work, so that law enforcement and courts are used only as a last resort.
  • SB 1088 by Senator Curren Price (D-Los Angeles) helps ensure that children who have had contact with the juvenile justice system are not barred from re-enrollment and are immediately reenrolled in school.

He vetoed:

AB 2242, which would have limited the use of “willful defiance,” the education law category that accounts for more than 40 percent of California school children suspended.

SB 1235, which would have given an optional hand up to schools that suspend more than 25 percent of their student population through free regional trainings for school leaders.


How do you think these bills will affect your schools? How does it tie into the work OUSD will be doing as part of its voluntary resolution with the Office for Civil Rights?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • J.R.

    The bills are going to make things worse:

    AB 1729 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) changes existing law to strengthen the alternatives to suspension or expulsion and clarify that school removals should only happen after other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.

    The big political brush-off for those kids in class who want to learn. The laws are made to cater to rule-breakers with no real accountability, so we are giving these individuals tacit permission to be irresponsible.

    SB 1088 by Senator Curren Price (D-Los Angeles) helps ensure that children who have had contact with the juvenile justice system are not barred from re-enrollment and are immediately reenrolled in school.

    Again laws to make sure that those who don’t want to learn and are criminally disruptive can do as they please at the expense of children who wish to learn.

    Our priorities are screwed up, and we are training our kids to be irresponsible losers on the public teat or in the prison system.

    The politicians keep addressing symptoms, and not the actual problem, which is society encourages irresponsible people to have kids(by providing money,housing etc)and then people are shocked when those kids are just as irresponsible, and the cycle continues and magnifies by orders of magnitude. You need to wake up and have a dose of reality, perhaps that is impossible as long as other people(taxpayers) supply the money for you. Never had to be responsible, and most likely never will be.

  • Nextset

    Part of maintaining a real school is creating conditions that serve as ghetto repellent. Like classical music at the mall. Or like barring driver’s licenses and bank accounts for illegal alien invaders. You create an environment where undesirables will not go, will not stay, and will voluntarily deport. You can do it incrementally, steadily and inexorably. It’s really easy to do.

    You just maintain standards. Standards can be used to make life untenable for undesirables. It’s easy. For one thing you start disrespecting them, their values their very existence. You can also set up a set of continuation/alternative schools that are designed to attract undesirables. That’s real easy to do. End of problem.

    I would say that LAUSD and OUSD should simply ratchet up the conditions that attract good students and repel bad students. This presupposes the school isn’t trying to attract and keep bad students.

    What’s really going on is that the urban schools are ghetto attractants. They repel good students and good families.

    So it doesn’t really matter what the governor is signing here. You are still having the state segregate children into Caste Schools and keeping it real for the kiddies, so they’ll stay. Or at least stay on the books. Black, Mexican and White schools with “never the twain shall meet” – even in football (different leagues).

    My concern is that the black children by virtue of the Caste they are born into no longer have the opportunities in California they have even before the Civil Rights Movement of the mid 1960s. The social mobility I saw growing up – where if you just did as you were told, you would go farther than your grandparents and parents – is no more. Now most black children will go only to schools with teachers who keep it real (look unprofessional) and in no way challenge the blacks or get them out of their comfort zones. They will get false grades, told they are wonderful when they can’t even read and write, and learn nothing of the world, their nation, history industry or economics and especially civics and the penal code. They will “graduate” with a laughable diploma and be unemployable – which they will only begin to realize later due to the lack of research training and critical judgment not taught.

    Meanwhile the government imports a legion of 3rd worlders to compete with American Blacks for housing, employment and position in society.

    Brave New World.

  • Nontcair

    Just what public education needs: more regulations.

    That big clapping sound you hear are lawyers all over the state high-fiving one another.

    It’s cruel and unusual punishment for the state to inflict Ammiano on us.

    These regulations covering suspensions and expulsions (ie ABs 1729 & 2537) are completely unconstitutional. We don’t give executive branch agencies the power to conduct “trials” and mete out punishments. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of Separation of Powers?

  • Nontcair

    Basically, PC works to expand the tentacles of the government — any by extension, those of the legal profession itself — into every nook and cranny of society.

    A very left wing strategy.

    $100M a year in “pro bono” legal services is a small price to pay for the BILLIONS of dollars in legal fees paid annually by the private sector that a bigger government makes unavoidable.

    The public interest. Right.

  • Nontcair

    PC is affiliated with a few of those Bar guilds from LA County; OMG, Beverly Hills! It seems likely to me that some of its funding must come out of dues paid by members of the clubs — assessments on members who might even *oppose* PC’s activities.

    What portion of those dues are *mandatory*? You know, necessary in order to maintain your “license” to practice, rather than “voluntary” (necessary to demonstrate yourself to be a certified left winger)?

    At least one college affiliate of that Nader group I referred to earlier (in the wrong forum) was funded through student fees. You know, the college would bill you for the money on your tuition statement. Those creepy Naderites had placed a student referendum on the assessment in front of an apathetic student body whose parents would be paying for it anyway.

    Naturally the special interest were able to push it through.

    Great practice for their future careers on governing bodies such as the Oakland City Council and School Board.

  • Jerry Heverly

    I believe, at least in this instance, that these new laws reflect a prevailing view among the citizens of the state. The numbers of African-American kids who are expelled and suspended is all out of proportion to their numbers among the school populations. The legislature, again reflecting public opinion, assumes there *must* be some racial bias involved. They know that most of the teachers and administrators are white. It’s only logical to think that some intervention is called for.
    Sadly my own experience is that the discipline numbers reflect the true state of the classroom. I can talk about kids of other ethnic groups who get into disciplinary trouble, but I can’t run from the fact that African-American kids disproportionately do the little things (profanity, talking back, tardiness, classroom disruptions) that lead, in a minority of cases, to suspensions.
    The big things (vandalism, drug use, fighting) that tend to lead to expulsions I’m not so sure about. As a teacher I generally don’t hear who got expelled.
    Is there racial bias in the meting out of punishments? My gut tells me no from my own personal observations. Yet I know there are many who scoff at my view since I’m a self-interested white teacher.
    One side tells me I’m letting down my good students if I don’t firmly discipline my students (which means my AA students will be punished disproportionately).
    The other side says I’m inherently racist and the numbers prove I’m biased.
    My guess is that this new law will not change much. Schools will find ways to more clearly define behavior (defiance will be replace with a host of more specific crimes). The same kids will get suspended. There will be a bit more paper work.

  • J.R.

    Mr. Heaverly,
    You are correct, but I differ on one point, the objective of this legislation is to lower suspensions and expulsions. this will result in infractions being brushed aside and or ignored in order to reach the desired lower numbers of suspensions expulsions. This legislation treats symptoms of the underlying problems(which are values and behavior learned at home)and never the root of the problem. Big brother government cannot solve the problems of the family unit, it can only(and has)made the problem worse. The government has made it possible for irresponsible people to procreate in unsustainable numbers, and they are turning out children very much like themselves. We have reached a saturation point, along with a huge generation of babyboomer retirees spells financial implosion.

  • OUSD Parent

    If a kid of any race is misbehaving at school there should be consequences. I asked on another thread if there is evidence that white kids who misbehave are given a pass while black kids are not. If this is the case then it’s racism. If not, there is probably something else going on. It saddens me that the issue presented in such a divisive way. And why is it just black and white kids? This city has one of the most diverse populations in the entire country. Is the behavior of asian and hispanic children accounted for in this study?

    My family is white. One of my kids was wild when he was little. His behavior was addressed immediately in kindergarten. We worked with his teachers on appropriate consequences at school and at home. Other kids (of any race) who misbehaved were reprimanded as well. Bad behavior was not tolerated and expectations were set early on. My kid was never suspended, but he spent many hours out in the hallway, in the principal’s office, picking up trash on the school yard and benched at recess — until he finally got it. He is now a model student. His teachers love him, he gets great grades and he gets really along well with his classmates. You’d never know that he was a problem when he was younger.

    My bet is that if his bad behavior was never addressed by the teachers early on and at home, he would be an absolute terror now. If this were the case, would he be suspended? I sure hope so.

    So, are african american kids being reprimanded unjustly? Are more of them getting into trouble? Will things be made better for them if the schools just ignore the bad behavior and give them a pass? And I’d love to see some statistics on the hispanic and asian student populations incorporated into this discussion.

  • Nontcair

    #8 wrote One of my kids was wild when he was little .. My bet is that if his bad behavior was never addressed by the teachers early on and at home, he would be an absolute terror now .. are african american kids being reprimanded unjustly?

    Here we go again.

    Public education as one big social engineering experiment.

  • OUSD Parent

    Nontcair, Why is this social engineering? If a kid of any race is misbehaving there should be consequences or they mess things up for everyone. What does that have to do with social engineering?

  • Nontcair

    Punishment seems to work for white kids. Let’s see how it works for blacks.

    Social engineering.

    What other behavior modification techniques do we want to test out on kids who are *forced* to show up? As though they were guinea pigs.

  • OUSD Parent

    #11 – Nontcair, Punishment works for some kids but not others. You can leave race out of it. It has nothing to do with social engineering.There are plenty of white kids who don’t respond to punishment and plenty of kids of other ethnicities that do. Your argument is weak. My concern as a parent is that I want kids to behave at school so teachers can teach and kids can learn. Turning it into a race issue doesn’t do anyone any good.

  • Nontcair

    You want *your* kid to learn at school. You want *me* to pay for it.

    You want to force other people’s kids to show up, too. It’s unclear what you expect them to learn, but it’s a safe bet that the doctrine is something *you* approve of. You also want them to behave in a way that *you* approve of — OR ELSE.

    And of course you want *me* to pay for it.

    But DON’T EVER call that social engineering.

  • Nextset

    Nontclair has a point there somewhere. Forced “education” is no more likely to have good behavior than that found in a jail or internment camp.

    We are very wrong to expect the black kids to behave. After all, for the most part they didn’t beg to get into the school and don’t really want to be there anyway.

    Maybe the solution is to drop compulsory education after puberty , age 9 or so or blacks, and only let them into school is the beg pretty please to attend. Those that are accepted probably would behave better.

    Kind of like having to apply for Bishop O’Dowd. After getting in there you are not likely to tell staff to f themselves. They have a wait list.

    I’d suggest having a default school with severe corporal punishment and the better schools, more pleasant, by application and merit.

    And let the parent choose where to apply for their chillun. Or they can always homeschool them. Maybe that can be the default with school being optional and by accepted application.

    Either way I agree it’s very wrong to keep brats in school when they don’t want to be there. I agree with Nontclair.

  • Jim Mordecai

    School days, school days,
    Dear old golden rule days.
    ‘Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic,
    Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick.

    Bad, boy, bad boy what you going to do?
    Because they are not going to suspend you.

    OCR suspension suspended
    Punked by OCR.

    OCR ignored forty charters
    Feeding charter school enrollment.

    Golden rule days, black board jungle,
    charter schools pimping public coin,
    School days, not so Golden Rule Days.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    My (obvious!) point wasn’t about the disasterous consequences of compulsory attendance but rather about how folks like #8 want to use public education — ie teaching Johnny how to read — as a laboratory for social engineering experiments — ie to find the best method of teaching Johnny how to BEHAVE.

    Public education has *always* been about training kids to become compliant ADULTS, ie unwilling to oppose the government and unable to question it.

    That’s why I asked what other forms of coercion (punishment) she would like the schools to test out. For instance,

    dunce caps

    It’s particularly outrageous that she (almost certainly) wants to *force* kids to show up. Their very natural (disruptive) reactions inside the classroom ensure that she’ll always have a nice sized sample of subjects to experiment on.

  • Nextset

    Nontclair is just wrong here. My white public high school cranked out the ruling class, as well as the senior civil service. We even had a getaway driver in a 7-11 robbery. Our high school taught us about acquiring power and responsibility. If we used it for good or evil that was our business.

    They would have preferred we use it for good.

    The point is we were not being taught to be unemployable, in prison or on welfare – or otherwise to be dependent on the mercy of others more powerful.

    My school was no different that most other white schools of the day. I have never attended a black school. May parents and grandparents and so on attended segregated black schools all their lives (and taught in them). And even then they were send into the professions. When they relocated to California after WWII they made a decision to put us into white schools and white neighborhoods thinking we’d have more opportunities. They had no idea I’d vote for Romney. Or that intermarriage would become the norm. Unintended consequences.

    As far as Nontclair’s belief that Public Education has always been about… this is another reflection of his age, immaturity and lack of exposure to history. Too bad he won’t tell us more about himself so we can get a better idea of where his born-yesterday points of view originate. Did he go to black schools?

    It is only relatively lately that Libs decided to use the (eternally?) segregated black schools to raise generations of unemployable, weak, coddled and uneducated blacks.

    As a nearly 90 year old relative mentioned last week, “We had segregated schools, but they were GOOD segregated schools.”

    Brave New World.

  • J.R.

    Just a little added data to exemplify the point that restorative justice(AKA-hug a thug)won’t solve the underlying problem.


  • Nontcair

    From that Examiner article:

    It is quite possible most of the [OUSD] students who are truant and engage in fights can benefit from classes that focus on violence avoidance.

    Once again we see a pro-government, MSM outlet proposing that the solution to a problem caused by forcing kids to show for school is to force them to take violence avoidance classes as well. Which should work about as well as the sex-ed and DARE classes already inflicted upon them.


    Is it any wonder that readership is dropping exponentially?

    Likewise, #17 was being taught to never question the logic of the System, but rather to work “within it” to make it “better”.

    Of course he was never taught the *true* history of public education in this country. How it was:

    based on a rigid, Prussian (pro-state) model
    formed as a reaction to the emergence of *Catholic* schools
    instituted to pursue fanatical egalitarian notions

    IOW, a system of beliefs held dear by a faction of socialist Protestants, to be inculcated on everyone else and at their (the victims) expense.

  • J.R.

    What it boils down to is these so-called parents(for lack of a better word) cannot or will not provide a decent,structured home, and government run schools cannot raise these kids to be whole human beings. These kids are victims of their parents lack of ability to provide physical or emotional needs because the parent cannot even take care of themselves. Society is not failing these kids, their own parents are throwing them under the bus. We as a society are allowing the truly despicable, and irresponsible to procreate with no regard to responsibility.



  • Observer


    I have to ask, when your parents paid for your private schooling, was there ever a day that you felt forced to go or were you enthusiastic about your private, funded by your family through monies they made under completely independent circumstances? Seems to me every kid at least goes through a phase of not wanting to go to school.

  • Nontcair

    I’d rather not discuss my limited educational background. Way too OT. An OT’ers OT.

    I *always* felt forced. Naturally. Compulsory attendance has been in effect fpr a LONG time.

    It was my impression that many of my classmates couldn’t have cared less, but for one reason or another, showed up anyway. Certainly as they grew older the social scene and somebody else’s money (often their parent’s) was what kept them going.