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Teachers Circulate Petition Seeking Stricter Policies on Discipline from District

Teachers Circulate Petition for Stricter Policies on Discipline From District

Teachers in Bullard High School have signed a petition and sent it to officials in Fresno Unified School District to demand stricter disciplinary policies when dealing with misbehaving students, citing an increased concern over safety.

Located in Fresno, CA, Fresno Unified has been experimenting with ways to discipline students in an attempt to reduce its number of suspensions and expulsions; the district is following in the footsteps of many other districts within California as the state is encouraging the pursuit of alternative disciplinary measures.

But many teachers are complaining that their school districts are not doing enough to alternatively discipline and control unruly, misbehaving students.

"According to a survey taken by more than 80 Bullard teachers last week, an overwhelming majority said they have concerns about how disciplinary issues are handled and that security and discipline problems have increased over the years,” said the Fresno Bee.

"About one-third of the teachers surveyed said they have had students removed from class for violent offenses, only to see those students return to the classroom the following day. Teachers also say they are not notified, per state law, when students with a history of violence are placed in their class.”

Bullard High teachers hope that bringing the petition to district officials’ attention will result in the devising of a more thought-out policy on discipline disruptive students.

Fresno Unified officials, however, note that the district has spent $3.4 million on safety and security improvements and that it has increased police presence in schools as well. District spokesman Miguel Arias said the district is "committed to providing a safe learning environment at all of our schools.”

This is not the first time teachers in California have complained about a lack of support from their districts after efforts to reduce suspension and expulsion rates.

Some teachers in Los Angeles Unified District, a district that has banned suspensions for non-violent offenses, said last month that they are more stressed now than ever due to not being able to control unruly students.

These LAUSD teachers, like the ones in Fresno Unified, asked their district officials for more support.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/16/2015

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