Coming Soon: California Schools to Allow “Willful Disobedience” in Classroom

Prepare for an onslaught of teachers taking an early retirement.

And get ready for a generation void of discipline and the ability to interact properly in society.

The California State Senate has voted to ban schools and principals from suspending students for “willful defiance” of teachers, staff, and administrators.

The Senate approved SB 419 this week by a vote of 30-8.  It moves to the Assembly next and there aren’t enough conservatives in that legislative body to stop it.

A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown last legislative session, but it’s likely the new guy in the Governor’s Mansion, Gavin Newsome, will sign it.

Under the new version (Senate Bill 419), students in grades 4-12 wouldn’t be suspended for disrupting school activities or willfully defying school authorities, including teachers and staff.  The law would apply to both public and charter schools.

Students could still be suspended or expelled for other acts, including threatening violence, bringing a weapon or drugs to school, or damaging school property. Teachers could also still be allowed to “suspend pupils from class for the day and the following day who disrupt school activities or otherwise willfully defied valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.”

Also, as part of the proposed law, superintendents or principals would be asked to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are “age appropriate and designed to address and correct the pupil’s specific misbehavior.”

This would likely entail placing the disobedient students in a holding room where they could sit before a computer screen and watch YouTube videos or play video games.

What’s driving this?  It’s called “Restorative Justice.”

In the 2015-16 school year, 96,421 students suspended for willful defiance.  Willful defiance suspensions accounted for 24% of total suspensions statewide that school year. Willful defiance suspensions made up 20% of all suspensions in the 2016-17 school year, and 14% in the 2017-18 school year.

African-American students made up 5.6% of enrollment in California schools in 2017-18, but accounted for 15.6% of willful defiance suspensions. Conversely, white students made up 23.2% of statewide enrollment but made up only 20.2% of willful defiance suspensions.

Clearly, the racial activists claim, California’s educational system is inherently racist.

The bill’s author, Senator Nancy Skinner (D-9th District), previously talked about the need for the bill, saying: “Under this highly subjective category, students are sent to an empty home, with no supervision, and denied valuable instructional time for anything from failing to turn in homework, not paying attention, or refusing to follow directions, taking off a coat or hat, or swearing in class.”

Pilot programs have been conducted in Orange County and Butte County and would provide the framework for the new statewide system. Several school districts, in San Francisco Unified, Los Angeles Unified, and Oakland Unified have already banned school from issuing willful defiance suspensions and expulsions

Brian Sussman

Reader Interactions


  1. Simon Klebanow says

    I would like to know the name and contact information about Steve from Napa who retired because of a student.

    I have created a teen empowerment program and I would like to consult with Steve.

  2. Jackie says

    Where are we heading?
    How are students going to learn personal discipline and interpersonal skills?

  3. Y Dolby says

    This is frightening. These are kids who aren’t getting discipline at home or they wouldn’t be acting out in school, and they won’t get discipline in school because it’s not permitted. This is driven by poor parenting! Maybe their kids will learn discipline in prison. How is this serving their long-term future to function successfully in the world? How about taking into account those students who are there to achieve, and that is interrupted by students who refuse to behave? This is crap that just wasn’t tolerated in prior generations.

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