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New California school suspension law takes effect

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Posted at 8:25 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 11:25:46-04

A new California law banning elementary and middle schools from suspending students for infractions like falling asleep in class or talking back to the teacher takes effect Wednesday.

SB419 prohibits schools, including charter schools, from suspending students for willful defiance.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill back in September 2019.

Now teachers and school officials will not be able to suspend a student from school for acting up in class. They can still be suspended for violence or bringing a weapon or drugs to campus.

California already prohibits suspensions for students up to the third grade. The new law extends a permanent ban to grades four and five. It temporarily restricts them for grades six through eight until 2025.

High school students can be suspended for willful defiance but not expelled.

Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner, who authored the bill, says state data shows students of color are more likely to be suspended for willful defiance than white students.