Most, if not all, of these alternatives to
suspension can currently be employed pur- suant to the discretion afforded school of- ficials by the Education Code. However, by specifically listing them in statute, lawmak- ers aim to eliminate doubt as to the legality of such measures and encourage their use when appropriate.
Looking forward There is no one-size-fits-all approach
to student discipline. At times, removing a student from campus by suspension or expulsion is a necessary and appropriate response to dangerous or habitual miscon- duct. However, there are other times when the more effective response may be to allow the student to remain on campus while using other methods to correct his or her behavior. The best way to ensure that school officials utilize the ideal disciplinary re- sponse in any particular situation is to have
a thorough understanding of all of the tools the Education Code provides to address stu- dent misconduct. Garfield High School is an example of
what can be accomplished when school of- ficials take advantage of the full range of disciplinary tools and discretion afforded to them by the Education Code. Perhaps not every school can reduce its suspension rate so dramatically, but it stands to reason that if schools start employing these tools to their full advantage, instead of 2.2 million suspensions, in the next three years Cali- fornia could see a figure significantly lower, to the benefit of both its schools and its stu- dents. n
Hoag, C. (April 7, 2012). “‘Defiance’ seen as cause of Calif. Suspensions.” Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved from http://www. dailynews.com
Garfield High in the News. (n.d.). On Gar- field High School website. Retrieved from http://garfieldhs.org/apps/news
California Department of Education Expul- sion, Suspension, and Truancy Informa- tion. (n.d.). On California Department of Education website. Retrieved from http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest
Sen. Floor, analysis of Sen. Bill 1714 (1993- 1994 Reg. Sess.) passed as amended July 12, 1993.
Assem. Com. on Education, analysis of Assem. Bill 2242 (2011-2012 Reg. Sess.)
David Robinett is a senior associate in the
Riverside office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. He represents school and community college districts, specializing in personnel and
employment law, board governance, and student discipline issues. He can be contacted at Drobinett@aalrr.com
Maintaining high challenge and high support Continued from page 22
In A. Iran-Nejad & P.D. Pearson (Eds.), Review of research in education: Vol. 24 (pp. 141-171). Washington, D.C.: Ameri- can Educational Research Association.
Hammond, J. (2006). “High challenge, high support: Integrating language and con- tent instruction for diverse learners in an English literature classroom.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 5, 269-283.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). “Toward a the- ory of culturally relevant pedagogy.” American Educational Research Journal,
Langer, J.A. & Applebee, A.N. (1986). “Read- ing and writing instruction: Toward a theory of teaching and learning.” Review of Research in Education, 13, 171-194.
Oakes, J., Rogers, J. & Lipton, M. (2006). Learning power: Organizing for education and justice. NY: Teachers College Press.
Rivera-McCutchen, R.L. (2012). “Caring in a small urban high school: A complicated success.” Urban Education, 47(3), 653- 680.
van de Pol, J., Volman, M. & Beishuizen, J.
(2010). “Scaffolding in teacher-student interaction: A decade of research.” Edu- cational Psychologist Review, 22, 271-296.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and lan- guage. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press.
Wood, D., Bruner, J.S. & Ross, G. (1976). “The role of tutoring in problem-solv- ing.” Journal of Psychology and Psychia- try, 17, 89-100.
Steven Athanases is a professor, School of Education, UC Davis. A former high school
English teacher, he researches diversity and equity in teaching and learning English and teacher education, receiving distinguished research
awards from the Association of Teacher Educators and the National Council of Teachers of English. His current projects focus on preservice teacher inquiry and academically challenging and
supportive instruction for urban Latina/o youth. He is co-editor of “Mentors in the Making:
Developing New Leaders for New Teachers” (Teachers College Press).
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