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  • 1. NEW LAWS AND A CASE STUDY RELATED TO ALTERNATIVES TO SUSPENSION January 17, 2014 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM 2014 ACSA CONFERENCE Presented by: Dora J. Dome, Esq. & Dr. Susan Craig
  • 2. Dora J. Dome Biography Dora J. Dome has practiced Education Law for over 17 years, primarily in the areas of student issues and special education. She currently provides legal representation to school districts on student issues, and has renewed her emphasis on developing and conducting professional development trainings for district staff that focus on Bullying, Equity and Legal Compliance in a proactive effort to build staff capacity to address the changing needs of their students. Ms. Dome’s work with Bullying focuses on helping school districts create the necessary infrastructure to identify and address bullying in schools and to provide staff with effective strategies to respond to various forms of bullying and harassment. Her Equity trainings examine diversity and equity issues facing school districts such as examining stereotypes that impact attitudes and behavior of staff and students, identifying the harmful effects of stereotypes within the school setting, and coaching staff to develop skills to identify, interrupt and prevent discriminatory behavior. Ms. Dome’s legal compliance trainings provide up-to-date information and guidance on how to ’stay legal’ in the areas of special education, student discipline and Section 504. Admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1996, Ms. Dome served as a special education consultant and trainer for the Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii State Department of Health for five years. Ms. Dome was admitted to the California Bar in 2003. She worked with the education law firm of Dannis Woliver Kelley, (fka Miller Brown and Dannis) for eight years. Ms. Dome has studied in the areas of Race and Ethnicity, Critical Legal Studies and Critical Race Theory and has been certified as a Cultural Diversity Trainer by the National Coalition Building Institute (aka NCBI). She has developed and conducted trainings for numerous school districts and school boards in the areas of student diversity and equity, student and special education discipline, harassment/discrimination, bullying, special education, No Child Left Behind, alternative assessments for African American students, Section 504, and student records. Ms. Dome also regularly presents at association conferences such as ACSA, CSBA and CASCWA. She also participated on the Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundations (aka GLAF) Keynote Panel on “Race and Racism in LGBT Athletics” and presented at the NCAA Black Coaches Association Annual Conference on “Homophobia in Sports.” She graduated from University of Hawaii, Richardson School of Law (J.D.) and from University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.). Ms. Dome is an Adjunct Professor at Mills College and a Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, teaching Education Law and Policy in the administrative credential programs for soon to be administrators.
  • 3. 1/6/14 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 1   Agenda   Overview of AB 1729 and AB 256 Amendments   Berkeley Unified School District – Case Study © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 2   AB-1729 Amendments   Legislative Findings:   Overuse of school suspension and expulsion   Disproportionate impact of exclusionary discipline practices on:   Students of color,   Students with disabilities,   LGBT students, and   Other vulnerable populations. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 3 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 1  
  • 4. 1/6/14   Suspension, including supervised suspension, shall be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.   Suspension for 1st offense: –  Violation of 48900(a), (b), (c), (d) or (e); or –  Pupil’s presence causes a continuing danger to persons. –  Deletes – danger to property or threatens to disrupt the instructional process. (Education Code 48900.5(a), 1/1/13) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 4     Conference between school personnel, parent/guardian, and the student   Referrals to school counselor, psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, or other school support service personnel for case management and counseling   Study Teams, guidance teams, resource panel teams, or other intervention-related teams that assess the behavior, and develop and implement individualized plans to address the behavior in partnership with the student and his or her parents   Referral for a comprehensive psychosocial or psychoeducational assessment, including for purposes of creating and IEP or a Section 504 Plan © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 5     Enrollment in a program for teaching prosocial behavior or anger management   Participation in a restorative justice program   A positive support approach with tiered intervention that occurs during the school day on campus   After-school programs that address specific behavioral issues or expose students to positive activities and behaviors, including, but not limited to, those operated in collaboration with local parent and community groups   Community service (Education Code 48900.5(b), 1/1/13) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 6 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 2  
  • 5. 1/6/14   Discretionary recommendations   Mandatory recommendations   Stipulated expulsions © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 7     Unless the principal, superintendent or designee determines that expulsion should not be recommended under the circumstances or that an alternative means of correction would address the conduct, the principal, Superintendent or designee shall recommend a student's expulsion for any of the following acts that occur at school or at a school activity off grounds: (Ed. Code, § 48915 (a)(1), 1/1/13.) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 8   (C) Unlawful possession of any controlled substance, except for (i)  The first offense for the possession of not more than one avoirdupois ounce of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis. (ii)  The possession of over-the-counter medication for use by the pupil for medical purposes or medication prescribed for the pupil by a physician. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 9 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 3  
  • 6. 1/6/14   The principal, superintendent or designee shall immediately suspend and recommend for expulsion any student found at school or at a school activity to be: (Ed. Code, § 48915, subd. (c).) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 10     Possessing, as verified by a district employee, or selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm, unless the student had obtained prior written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, with the principal or designee's concurrence.   The act of possessing an imitation firearm, is not an offense for which suspension or expulsion is mandatory (Education Code 48915(c)(1), 1/1/13) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 11   AB-256 Amendments   48900(r)(2) (A) “Electronic act” means the creation and transmission originated on or off the schoolsite, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager, of a communication, including, but not limited to, any of the following: © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 12 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 4  
  • 7. 1/6/14 CASE STUDY © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 13 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 14                 Total enrollment: 9,580 White students: 37% Latino students: 22% African American students: 19.5% Asian students: 8% Trend: African American enrollment is decreasing   Berkeley is a community that is internationally known for progressive ideals with regard to educational equity and social responsibility, including free speech and disability rights.   1968: Berkeley was the first city in the Nation to desegregate schools voluntarily, without a court order. At the time, the school population was 50% White and 41% African American.   The community regularly approves parcel taxes to ensure a high quality public education for all. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 15 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 5  
  • 8. 1/6/14   August 2004: Smith v. Berkeley USD – Federal class action lawsuit filed alleging that African American and Latino students were expelled from Berkeley High School without due process and denied their right to an education. Resulted in Consent Decree.   May 19, 2008: A BUSD middle school featured in the San Francisco Chronicle for having one of the highest suspension rates for violence in the Bay Area. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 16 SCHOOL YEAR ENROLLMENT SUSPENSIONS EXPULSIONS 2008-2009 8,922 2,124 47 2009-2010 9,204 1,267 22 2010-2011 9,397 896 14 (QUARTER 1: 170 ) 2011-2012 9,545 795 15 (QUARTER 1: 145 ) 2012-2013 9,780 (QUARTER 1: 86) 1 2013-2014 9,580 (QUARTER 1: 61 )   0 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 17 SCHOOL 2008-2009 2011-2012 2012-2013 BERKELEY HIGH SCHOOL 606 309 215 WILLARD MIDDLE SCHOOL 353 43 54 ROSA PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 65 6   3 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 18 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 6  
  • 9. 1/6/14   FACT: A disproportionately high number of African American students are suspended.   IMPROVEMENT: Suspensions overall have declined, including overall suspensions for African American students.   NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The percentage of suspensions that are for African American students has increased slightly. The race-based gap in suspensions with regard to African American students has not been reduced. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 19 School Year Percentage of Suspension for African American Students (first Quarter data) Percentage of Enrollment for African American Students 2011 60% 22.3% 2012 60% 21.3% 2013 61.6% 20.4% 2014 61.2%   19.5% © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 20     Set your intention to break the school to prison pipeline: Consistently implement alternatives to suspension unless the student poses a danger and/or other means of corrected have failed to bring about proper conduct.   Publicly state your district’s intentions to reduce suspensions and expulsions and eliminate racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline practices through district goals.   Share suspension and expulsion data with site administrators regularly and provide ongoing support. Engage in courageous conversations with all school staff regarding discipline practices. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 21 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 7  
  • 10. 1/6/14   Tier 1: School-wide practices to build a positive school climate that is culturally responsive. Tier 1 support serves to strengthen every student’s membership in the school community and prevent behaviors that may result in suspension or expulsion.   Tier 2: Site-level practices of progressive discipline that do not remove the student from school and provide support and education for students regarding appropriate decision-making, ownership of mistakes, and repairing harm done.   Tier 3: School and District-level support for students who are being suspended repeatedly, alternatives to expulsion when appropriate and allowed by law, and suspended expulsions. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 22     Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) in place in all pre-schools, elementary, and middle schools.   Specific training in Tier 1 culturally responsive PBIS practices to address the racial disproportionality of student discipline practices as been provided for teams at all schools, pre-K through 8. •  Ongoing training for all administrators in racial equity and culturally responsive practices. •  Welcoming Schools curriculum in all K – 5 schools. •  Olweus bullying-prevention program: school-wide bullying survey at Berkeley High School has been conducted, some staff at BHS, middle school counselors, and middle school vice-principals have been trained. •  Restorative Justice support is available at 1 elementary and all 3 BUSD middle schools. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 23     Counseling, Mental Health, and Academic Support at all Schools: mental health support available at all schools, counselors at all middle schools and high schools (funded through MHSA $5,000 per elementary school, parcel tax pays for middle school counselors), RtI teams at all elementary and middle schools make recommendations for support and monitor the needs of identified students, universal learning support teachers provide targeted academic support at all elementary schools (teachers parcel tax funded), District psychologist and behavior specialists provide recommendations and support for identified students (funded through general fund)   Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Targeted Support at all Middle and High Schools: 1 on 1 and small group counseling support provided at all middle schools and high schools (funding sources: TUPE grant (3 middle schools, continuation high school, comprehensive high school), County Health grant (2 middle schools and continuation high school), school-based health centers located at BHS and continuation high school, Childrens Hospital provides services at the continuation high school © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 24 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 8  
  • 11. 1/6/14   Alternatives to suspension at middle schools include:   Site-based interventions such as community service, temporary loss of school privilege, parent shadowing, restorative justice mediation or conferencing, sexual harassment sessions with student and parent, youth court, and inschool suspension. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 25     Support for students identified as “high risk” at Berkeley High School: full-time intervention counselor provides intervention support, School Resource Officer provides mediation, On Campus Intervention team provides support services for students including alternatives to suspension, youth court program at BHS provides alternatives to suspension, Dean of Attendance and staff provide truancy support, 12 Safety Officers and 4 Campus Monitors are trained in Restorative Justice, the Alive & Free Prescription for non-violence, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 26     ALL STUDENTS AT BTA NEED TIER 2 SUPPORT   All staff are trained in the Omega Boys Club’s Alive and Free Prescription for non-violence.   All students participate in weekly Alive and Free sessions with Dr. Joseph Marshall and staff   Student Welfare and Attendance Specialist provides behavioral and truancy support.   Students with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug issues are referred to ATOD therapists in lieu of suspension.   Staff training in PBIS, Restorative Justice and Transformational Life Skills to de-escalate student behavior.   2 Safety Officers with training in RJ, Alive & Free, and CPI. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 27 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 9  
  • 12. 1/6/14   Inappropriate to Expel Process: for 48915(a) offenses - documentation, behavior contract, and referral to intervention programs and services.   LifeLines Academies: District-level violence prevention/intervention groups for students and parents/caregivers; facilitated by the San Francisco Omega Boys Club. Groups meet every week. LifeLines Prep: grades 4-7, LifeLines Academy: grades 8-12. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 28   Restorative Justice Community Conferencing: Voluntary Restorative Justice conferencing program in lieu of expulsion and/or incarceration operated by a non-profit, Community Works West.   Options for Programs in Lieu of Expulsion: Recommend that district retain legal leverage through the recommendation for expulsion to ensure that students follow-through with program participation. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 29       Focus areas for reducing suspensions have been established:   49800(c)/ 48915(a)(1)(C) offenses – students who are in possession of a controlled substance are referred to ATOD counseling support in lieu of suspension, for repeat offenses a referral to LifeLines Academy is also done. If a student is under the influence, the suspension is for 1 day, then the student is referred to ATOD counseling © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 30 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 10  
  • 13. 1/6/14   48900(k) offenses – Administrators have been told to make every effort to use alternatives to suspension for disruption/defiance. Suspensions for 48900(k) offenses are discussed with site administrators. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 31     A Tier 2 training for Culturally Responsive PBIS is currently being planned.   PBIS support at Berkeley High School and the continuation high school still need to be addressed. © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 32   510.464.DOME  (3663)  office   510.301.6667  cellular   510.291.9599  fax  e-­‐mail  web   © 2014 DORA DOME LAW p. 33 © 2014 DORA DOME LAW 11