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AB-667 Pupil discipline: suspension: informal conference.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 10/04/2017 02:00 PM
AB667:v97#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 667
CHAPTER 445

An act to amend Section 48911 of the Education Code, relating to pupil discipline.

[ Approved by Governor  October 03, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  October 03, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 667, Reyes. Pupil discipline: suspension: informal conference.
(1) Existing law requires that suspension of a pupil be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct. Existing law requires a suspension by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools to be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools between the pupil and, whenever practicable, the teacher, supervisor, or school employee who referred the pupil to the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools. Existing law requires a pupil, at the conference, to be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and the evidence against him or her, and given the opportunity to present his or her version and evidence in his or her defense.
This bill would require a pupil, at the conference, to also be informed of the other means of correction that were attempted before the suspension. Because the bill would impose additional duties on school districts in regards to the suspension of a pupil, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 48911 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48911.
 (a) The principal of the school, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools may suspend a pupil from the school for any of the reasons enumerated in Section 48900, and pursuant to Section 48900.5, for no more than five consecutive schooldays.
(b) Suspension by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools shall be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools between the pupil and, whenever practicable, the teacher, supervisor, or school employee who referred the pupil to the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools. At the conference, the pupil shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action, including the other means of correction that were attempted before the suspension as required under Section 48900.5, and the evidence against him or her, and shall be given the opportunity to present his or her version and evidence in his or her defense.
(c) A principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools may suspend a pupil without affording the pupil an opportunity for a conference only if the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools determines that an emergency situation exists. “Emergency situation,” as used in this article, means a situation determined by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools to constitute a clear and present danger to the life, safety, or health of pupils or school personnel. If a pupil is suspended without a conference before suspension, both the parent and the pupil shall be notified of the pupil’s right to a conference and the pupil’s right to return to school for the purpose of a conference. The conference shall be held within two schooldays, unless the pupil waives this right or is physically unable to attend for any reason, including, but not limited to, incarceration or hospitalization. The conference shall then be held as soon as the pupil is physically able to return to school for the conference.
(d) At the time of suspension, a school employee shall make a reasonable effort to contact the pupil’s parent or guardian in person or by telephone. If a pupil is suspended from school, the parent or guardian shall be notified in writing of the suspension.
(e) A school employee shall report the suspension of the pupil, including the cause for the suspension, to the governing board of the school district or to the district superintendent of schools in accordance with the regulations of the governing board of the school district.
(f) (1) The parent or guardian of a pupil shall respond without delay to a request from school officials to attend a conference regarding his or her child’s behavior.
(2) No penalties shall be imposed on a pupil for failure of the pupil’s parent or guardian to attend a conference with school officials. Reinstatement of the suspended pupil shall not be contingent upon attendance by the pupil’s parent or guardian at the conference.
(g) In a case where expulsion from a school or suspension for the balance of the semester from continuation school is being processed by the governing board of the school district, the district superintendent of schools or other person designated by the district superintendent of schools in writing may extend the suspension until the governing board of the school district has rendered a decision in the action. However, an extension may be granted only if the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee has determined, following a meeting in which the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian are invited to participate, that the presence of the pupil at the school or in an alternative school placement would cause a danger to persons or property or a threat of disrupting the instructional process. If the pupil is a foster child, as defined in Section 48853.5, the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee, including, but not limited to, the educational liaison for the school district, shall also invite the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency to participate in the meeting. If the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian has requested a meeting to challenge the original suspension pursuant to Section 48914, the purpose of the meeting shall be to decide upon the extension of the suspension order under this section and may be held in conjunction with the initial meeting on the merits of the suspension.
(h) (1) For purposes of this section, a “principal’s designee” is one or more administrators at the schoolsite specifically designated by the principal, in writing, to assist with disciplinary procedures.
(2) In the event that there is not an administrator in addition to the principal at the schoolsite, a certificated person at the schoolsite may be specifically designated by the principal, in writing, as a “principal’s designee,” to assist with disciplinary procedures. The principal may designate only one person at a time as the principal’s primary designee for the school year.
(3) An additional person meeting the requirements of this subdivision may be designated by the principal, in writing, to act for purposes of this article when both the principal and the principal’s primary designee are absent from the schoolsite. The name of the person, and the names of any person or persons designated as “principal’s designee,” shall be on file in the principal’s office.
(i) This section is not an exception to, nor does it place any limitation on, Section 48903.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.