Amended in Senate June 19, 2013

Amended in Assembly May 24, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 10, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 420

Introduced by Assembly Member Dickinson

(begin deleteCoauthor: Assembly Member John A. Pérezend deletebegin insert Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo, Ammiano, Brown, John A. end insertbegin insertPérez, and V. Manuel end insertbegin insertPérezend insert)

(Coauthor: Senator Leno)

February 15, 2013

An act to amendbegin delete Sectionend deletebegin insert Sectionsend insert 48900begin insert and 48910end insert of the Education Code, relating to pupil discipline.


AB 420, as amended, Dickinson. Pupil discipline: suspensions: willful defiance.

Existing law prohibits a pupil from being 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 a specified act, including, among other acts, disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.

This bill would limit that authority of a superintendent of a school district and a principalbegin delete by only allowingend deletebegin insert regarding disruptive or similar pupil conduct by prohibiting a recommendation of expulsion forend insert a pupilbegin insert on those basis. It would limit the authority to suspend for disruptive or similar conduct to a pupil who isend insert enrolled in any of grades 6 to 12, inclusive,begin delete to be suspended, but not expelled, for willful defianceend deletebegin insert who has substantially disrupted school activities or substantially prevented instruction from occurring, onlyend insert on or after the 3rd offense in a school year,begin delete providedend deletebegin insert and only if the pupil’s parent, guardian, or education rights holder has been informed thatend insert other specified correction measures were attempted before the recommendation to suspend. The bill also would state the intent of the Legislaturebegin delete to minimize the excessive use of willful defianceend deletebegin insert to, among other things, address the disproportionate suspension of particular subgroups of pupilsend insert and encourage schools to instead prioritize and use alternative means of correction.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 48900 of the Education Code is amended
2to read:



A pupil shall not be suspended from school or
4recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent of the school
5district or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled
6determines that the pupil has committed an act as defined pursuant
7to any of subdivisions (a) to (r), inclusive:

8(a) (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause
9physical injury to another person.

10(2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another,
11except in self-defense.

12(b) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished a firearm, knife,
13explosive, or other dangerous object, unless, in the case of
14possession of an object of this type, the pupil had obtained written
15permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee,
16which is concurred in by the principal or the designee of the

18(c) Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished,
19or been under the influence of, a controlled substance listed in
20Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the
21Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant
22of any kind.

P3    1(d) Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell a
2controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
311053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic
4beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and either sold, delivered,
5or otherwise furnished to a person another liquid, substance, or
6material and represented the liquid, substance, or material as a
7controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.

8(e) Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.

9(f) Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or
10private property.

11(g) Stole or attempted to steal school property or private

13(h) Possessed or used tobacco, or products containing tobacco
14or nicotine products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars,
15miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew
16packets, and betel. However, this section does not prohibit use or
17possession by a pupil of his or her own prescription products.

18(i) Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity
19or vulgarity.

20(j) Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged, or
21negotiated to sell drug paraphernalia, as defined in Section 11014.5
22of the Health and Safety Code.

23(k) (1) A pupil enrolled in any of grades 6 to 12, inclusive,begin insert who
24has substantially end insert
disrupted school activities or begin delete otherwise willfully
25defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators,
26school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the
27performance of their dutiesend delete
begin insert substantially prevented instruction
28from occurringend insert

29(2) A pupil may only be suspended from school pursuant to this
30 subdivision on or after the third offense in a school year,begin delete providedend delete
31begin insert and only ifend insertbegin insert the pupil’s parent, guardian, or education rights holder
32has been informed that end insert
other means of correction, pursuant to
33Section 48900.5, were attempted before the recommendation to
34suspend. Pursuant to Section 48900.5, a school district may
35document other means of correction but is not required to do so.

36(3) Notwithstanding any other law, this subdivision shall not
37constitute grounds for a pupil to be recommended for expulsion.

begin delete

38(4) This subdivision does not prevent a teacher from suspending
39a pupil from class, pursuant to Section 48910, for conduct described
40in paragraph (1).

P4    1(5)

end delete

2begin insert(end insertbegin insert4)end insert It is the intent of the Legislaturebegin insert to address the
3disproportionate suspension of particular subgroups of pupils,end insert
4minimize the excessive use ofbegin delete willful defianceend deletebegin insert this subdivisionend insert as
5a reason to impose in-school and off-campus removals that often
6lead to poor educational outcomes, and to encourage schools to
7instead prioritize and use alternative means of correction such as
8participation in a restorative justice program, a positive behavior
9support system with tiered interventions, or other forms of
10correction as specified in Section 48900.5, in order to improve
11educational outcomes for children.

12(l) Knowingly received stolen school property or private

14(m) Possessed an imitation firearm. As used in this section,
15“imitation firearm” means a replica of a firearm that is so
16substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm
17as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a

19(n) Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as
20defined in Section 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal
21Code or committed a sexual battery as defined in Section 243.4
22of the Penal Code.

23(o) Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a
24complaining witness or a witness in a school disciplinary
25proceeding for purposes of either preventing that pupil from being
26a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or

28(p) Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or
29sold the prescription drug Soma.

30(q) Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing. For purposes
31of this subdivision, “hazing” means a method of initiation or
32preinitiation into a pupil organization or body, whether or not the
33organization or body is officially recognized by an educational
34institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or personal
35degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to a
36 former, current, or prospective pupil. For purposes of this
37subdivision, “hazing” does not include athletic events or
38school-sanctioned events.

39(r) Engaged in an act of bullying. For purposes of this
40subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings:

P5    1(1) “Bullying” means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal
2act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by
3means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts
4committed by a pupil or group of pupils as defined in Section
548900.2, 48900.3, or 48900.4, directed toward one or more pupils
6that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one
7or more of the following:

8(A) Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that
9pupil’s or those pupils’ person or property.

10(B) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially
11detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.

12(C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
13interference with his or her academic performance.

14(D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
15interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from
16the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

17(2) (A) “Electronic act” means the transmission, by means of
18an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone,
19wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device,
20computer, or pager, of a communication, including, but not limited
21to, any of the following:

22(i) A message, text, sound, or image.

23(ii) A post on a social network Internet Web site including, but
24not limited to:

25(I) Posting to or creating a burn page. “Burn page” means an
26Internet Web site created for the purpose of having one or more
27of the effects listed in paragraph (1).

28(II) Creating a credible impersonation of another actual pupil
29for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in
30paragraph (1). “Credible impersonation” means to knowingly and
31without consent impersonate a pupil for the purpose of bullying
32the pupil and such that another pupil would reasonably believe, or
33has reasonably believed, that the pupil was or is the pupil who was

35(III) Creating a false profile for the purpose of having one or
36more of the effects listed in paragraph (1). “False profile” means
37a profile of a fictitious pupil or a profile using the likeness or
38attributes of an actual pupil other than the pupil who created the
39false profile.

P6    1(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) and subparagraph (A), an
2electronic act shall not constitute pervasive conduct solely on the
3basis that it has been transmitted on the Internet or is currently
4posted on the Internet.

5(3) “Reasonable pupil” means a pupil, including, but not limited
6to, an exceptional needs pupil, who exercises average care, skill,
7and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age, or for a
8person of his or her age with his or her exceptional needs.

9(s) A pupil shall not be suspended or expelled for any of the
10acts enumerated in this section unless the act is related to a school
11activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the
12jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district or principal
13or occurring within any other school district. A pupil may be
14suspended or expelled for acts that are enumerated in this section
15and related to a school activity or school attendance that occur at
16any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

17(1) While on school grounds.

18(2) While going to or coming from school.

19(3) During the lunch period whether on or off the campus.

20(4) During, or while going to or coming from, a
21school-sponsored activity.

22(t) A pupil who aids or abets, as defined in Section 31 of the
23Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury
24to another person may be subject to suspension, but not expulsion,
25pursuant to this section, except that a pupil who has been adjudged
26by a juvenile court to have committed, as an aider and abettor, a
27crime of physical violence in which the victim suffered great bodily
28injury or serious bodily injury shall be subject to discipline pursuant
29to subdivision (a).

30(u) As used in this section, “school property” includes, but is
31not limited to, electronic files and databases.

32(v) For a pupil subject to discipline under this section, a
33superintendent of the school district or principal may use his or
34her discretion to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion
35that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the
36pupil’s specific misbehavior as specified in Section 48900.5.

37(w) It is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to
38suspension or expulsion be imposed against a pupil who is truant,
39tardy, or otherwise absent from school activities.

P7    1begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 48910 of the end insertbegin insertEducation Codeend insertbegin insert is amended to
2read:end insert



(a) A teacher may suspend any pupil from class, for
4any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900, for the day of the
5suspension and the day following. The teacher shall immediately
6report the suspension to the principal of the school and send the
7pupil to the principal or the designee of the principal for appropriate
8action. If that action requires the continued presence of the pupil
9at the schoolsite, the pupil shall be under appropriate supervision,
10as defined in policies and related regulations adopted by the
11governing board of the school district. As soon as possible, the
12teacher shall ask the parent or guardian of the pupil to attend a
13parent-teacher conference regarding the suspension. If practicable,
14a school counselor or a school psychologist may attend the
15conference. A school administrator shall attend the conference if
16the teacher or the parent or guardian so requests. The pupil shall
17not be returned to the class from which he or she was suspended,
18during the period of the suspension, without the concurrence of
19the teacher of the class and the principal.

20(b) A pupil suspended from a class shall not be placed in another
21regular class during the period of suspension. However, if the pupil
22is assigned to more than one class per day this subdivision shall
23apply only to other regular classes scheduled at the same time as
24the class from which the pupil was suspended.

25(c) A teacher may also refer a pupil, for any of the acts
26enumerated in Section 48900, to the principal or the designee of
27the principal for consideration of a suspension from the school.

begin insert

28(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (k) of Section 48900, a teacher
29may suspend a pupil in any grade level from class, including for
30a first offense and from a one-room schoolhouse, for disrupting
31school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority
32of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other
33school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.

end insert