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California schools can no longer suspend K-8 students for using phones. Will this help or hurt learning?

 

By NINA AGRAWAL, SONALI KOHLI, OCT. 1, 2019, LA Times

In middle school, Anthony Avila would stand up in class, talk to friends when he wasn’t supposed to and sling his legs across a second chair. His disruptive behavior got him sent to the office a lot, where he would sit in silence, often stewing.

In high school, Avila’s math teacher used another tactic. She kept him in class when he acted up and opened her room early so they could talk. When other teachers still sent him to the office, the staff at Huntington Park Institute of Applied Medicine was kind. They asked him to run errands or make copies. Counselors helped him with school work.

“I ended up getting good relationships ... so I felt like I had to respect them and do my work,” said Avila, now 18, whose behavior and grades slowly improved.

This is the kind of scenario that educators and lawmakers hope will unfold across California as schools embark on a new era of student discipline.

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