BILL NUMBER: AB 1729 AMENDED BILL TEXT AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 24, 2012 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Ammiano FEBRUARY 16, 2012 An act to amend Sections 48900 and 48900.5 of the Education Code, relating to pupil rights. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 1729, as amended, Ammiano. Pupil rights: suspension or expulsion. Existing law provides that a pupil shall not be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion unless the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed a specified act. Existing law also authorizes a superintendent of the school district or principal to use his or her discretion to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion, including, but not limited to, counseling and an anger management program, for a pupil subject to discipline under this provision. This bill would instead authorize a superintendent of the school district or principal of the school to use alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the root causes of the pupil's specific misbehavior, as specified. The bill would require, if an individual with exceptional needs is subject to discipline under this provision, an individualized education program team to hold a meeting within 3 days to discuss the behavior of the individual with exceptional needs and determine if a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan are needed to address the behavior. The bill would also provide that an individual with exceptional needs whose behavior is determined to be a manifestation of his or her disability is not subject to suspension, except as specified, or expulsion,
or other behavioral interventions,but instead willshall receive an appropriate assessment identifying behavioral needs, proposed behavioral goals to address the identified behavioral needs, and appropriate related services. By requiring an individualized education program team meeting, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. Existing law requires the imposition of suspension only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct but authorizes the suspension of a pupil, including an individual with exceptional needs, upon a first offense if the principal or superintendent of schools determines that specified offenses were committed or that the pupil's presence causes a danger to persons or property or threatens to disrupt the instructional process. This bill would require documentation of other means of correction used. The bill would also specify that other means of correction include, but are not limited to, a positive behavior support approach with tiered interventions, conferences between school personnel, parents, and pupils, and participation in a restorative justice program. By requiring documentation of other means of correction used, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) The public policy of this state is to ensure that school discipline policies and practices support the creation of safe, positive, supportive, and equitable school environments where pupils can learn. (b) The overuse of school suspension and expulsion undermines the public policy of this state and does not result in safer school environments or improved pupil behavior. Moreover, such highly punitive, exclusionary practices are associated with lower academic achievement, lower graduation rates, and a worse overall school climate. (c) Failing to teach and develop social and behavior skills in pupils leads to the depletion of funding through decreased average daily attendance, increased rates of teacher turnover, and increased pupil dropout rates. (d) School suspension and expulsion are disproportionately imposed on pupils of color, pupils with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pupils, and other vulnerable pupil populations. (e) In 2006, the suspension rate of African American elementary and secondary pupils in this state was more than double the rate of suspensions for White, Hispanic, or Asian students, and there is no evidence demonstrating that pupils of color or other pupil populations misbehave at greater rates than their peers. (f) Research has found that nonpunitive classroom discipline and in-school discipline strategies are more effective and efficient than suspension and expulsion for addressing the majority of pupil misconduct. (g) The public policy of this state is to provide effective interventions for pupils who engage in acts of problematic behavior to help them change their behavior and avoid exclusion from school. (h) The public policy of this state is to ensure that school discipline policies and practices are implemented and enforced evenhandedly and are not disproportionately applied to any class or group of pupils. (i) The intent of this act is to clarify existing law on school discipline and ensure the discretion of superintendents of schools and principals to implement school discipline policies and practices other than school suspension and expulsion. SEC. 2. Section 48900 of the Education Code, as amended by Section 6 of Chapter 732 of the Statutes of 2011, is amended to read: 48900. A pupil shall not be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent of the school district or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed an act as defined pursuant to any of subdivisions (a) to (r), inclusive: (a) (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person. (2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense. (b) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished a firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, unless, in the case of possession of an object of this type, the pupil had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, which is concurred in by the principal or the designee of the principal. (c) Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of, a controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind. (d) Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell a controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and either sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to a person another liquid, substance, or material and represented the liquid, substance, or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant. (e) Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion. (f) Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property. (g) Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property. (h) Possessed or used tobacco, or products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets, and betel. However, this section does not prohibit use or possession by a pupil of his or her own prescription products. (i) Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity. (j) Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell drug paraphernalia, as defined in Section 11014.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (k) Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. (l) Knowingly received stolen school property or private property. (m) Possessed an imitation firearm. As used in this section, "imitation firearm" means a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a firearm. (n) Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as defined in Section 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code or committed a sexual battery as defined in Section 243.4 of the Penal Code. (o) Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or a witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purposepurposes of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both. (p) Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma. (q) Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing. For purposes of this subdivision, "hazing" means a method of initiation or preinitiation into a pupil organization or body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to a former, current, or prospective pupil. For purposes of this subdivision, "hazing" does not include athletic events or school-sanctioned events. (r) Engaged in an act of bullying. For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings: (1) "Bullying" means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils as defined in Section 48900.2, 48900.3, or 48900.4, directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following: (A) Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil's or those pupils' person or property. (B) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health. (C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance. (D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school. (2) "Electronic act" means the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image, or a post on a social network Internet Web site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. (3) "Reasonable pupil" means a pupil, including, but not limited to, an exceptional needs pupil, who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age, or for a person of his or her age with his or her exceptional needs. (s) A pupil shall not be suspended or expelled for any of the acts enumerated in this section, unless that act is related to a school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district or principal or occurring within any other school district. A pupil may be suspended or expelled for acts that are enumerated in this section and related to a school activity or school attendance that occur at any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following: (1) While on school grounds. (2) While going to or coming from school. (3) During the lunch period whether on or off the campus. (4) During, or while going to or coming from, a school-sponsored activity. (t) A pupil who aids or abets, as defined in Section 31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another person may be subject to suspension, but not expulsion, pursuant to this section, except that a pupil who has been adjudged by a juvenile court to have committed, as an aider and abettor, a crime of physical violence in which the victim suffered great bodily injury or serious bodily injury shall be subject to discipline pursuant to subdivision (a). (u) As used in this section, "school property" includes, but is not limited to, electronic files and databases. (v) For a pupil subject to discipline under this section, a superintendent of the school district or principal may use his or her discretion to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the root causes of the pupil's specific misbehavior as specified in Section 48900.5. (w) For an individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, subject to discipline under this section, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting willshall be held within three days to discuss the behavior. The IEP team willshall determine if a fundamental behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan are needed to address the behavior of the individual with exceptional needs. TheAn individual with exceptional needs willwhose behavior is determined to be a manifestation of his or her disability shall not be subject to suspension , except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 48900.5, or expulsion, or other behavioral intervention,but instead willshall receive an appropriate assessment identifying behavioral needneeds , proposed behavioral goals to address the identified behavioral needs, and appropriate related services. (x) It is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to suspension or expulsion be imposed against a pupil who is truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from school activities. SEC. 3. Section 48900.5 of the Education Code is amended to read: 48900.5. (a) Suspension, including supervised suspension as described in Section 48911.1, shall be imposed only when other means of correction have been documented and fail to bring about proper conduct. However, a pupil, including an individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, may be suspended, subject to Section 1415 of Title 20 of the United States Code and subdivision (w) of Section 48900, for any of the reasons enumerated in Section 48900 upon a first offense, if the principal or superintendent of schools determines that the pupil violated subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of Section 48900 or that the pupil's presence causes a danger to persons. (b) Other means of correction shall include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) A positive behavior support approach with tiered interventions that occur during the schoolday on campus, using any of the following activities: (A) Conferences between school personnel, parents, and pupils. (B) Referrals to the school counselor, psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, or other school support service personnel for case management and counseling. (C) Study teams, guidance teams, resource panel teams, or other intervention-related teams that assess the root causes of the behavior, and develop and implement individualized plans to address the behavior in partnership with the pupil and his or her parents. (D) Referral for a comprehensive psychosocial or psychoeducational assessment, including for purposes of creating an individualized education program, or a plan adopted pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794(a)). (E) Enrollment in a program for teaching prosocial behavior or anger management. (F) Participation in a restorative justice program. (2) Any of the alternatives described in Section 48900.6. (3) After-school programs operated in collaboration with local parent and community groups that are designed to address specific behavioral issues or to expose pupils to positive activities and behaviors. SEC. 4. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.