CEAI: Behavioral problems require 'internal reform'

Thursday, May 16, 2013
 | 
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

In light of a proposal to ban some suspensions in one California school district, one expert believes it's time to consider reforming school discipline.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering a proposal to ban the practice of suspending students for willful defiance. The Los Angeles Times reports that willful defiance is being criticized as a resort for any student behavior the teacher does not like, such as tapping a pencil or refusing to take off a hat.

In California, willful defiance was the reason behind 48 percent of the suspensions in the 2011-12 school year. Given that, Finn Larsen of Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) believes it is time to reconsider discipline in public schools.

"Just banning one overused discipline technique or punishment technique is just not a wise idea," he asserts. "Let's look at internal reform -- I think that's the answer. [You] can't tolerate negative behavior, but you can't keep using a form of discipline that doesn't stop the behavior but simply removes this many students from the schooling environment," the CEAI spokesman contends. "710,000 suspensions in one school year ought to be a sign that suspensions aren't working. [We] need to find something else."

Larsen adds that banning suspension altogether will not solve the problem.

Governor Jerry Brown (D) rejected a bill last year that would have banned the expulsion or suspension of students who were willfully defiant.

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