Friday, December 19, 2008

Fighting at School

About a year ago I posted about fighting at school. Go read that post for some background information.

Just today, though, someone posted a comment on that post and pointed me to a section of California Ed Code that I didn't know about.

48900. A pupil shall not be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed an act as defined pursuant to any of subdivisions (a) to (q), inclusive:
(a) (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person.
(2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense. (boldface mine--Darren)


This changes everything. Administrators at my school refuse to make judgements about "who started it" and suspend anyone involved in a fight. It's wrong, it's unjust, and now we learn it's illegal.

8 comments:

Ellen K said...

I can understand on the administrations side that trying to place blame when you come up on a fight is something that will lead to parents suing at some point. But I also have kids and frankly, I would fight any district that tried to punish any of my children for defending themselves. One thing that did limit fighting was that cops began ticketing bystanders who were watching and egging on the participants.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> It's wrong, it's unjust, and now we learn it's illegal.

And it'll continue since refusing to make distinctions between legitimate cases of self-defense and criminal violence keeps the administrator out of the hot water that attends making judgments.

Until administrators have more to fear then to gain by refusing to discriminate between kids defending themselves and kids perpetrating violence the practice will continue. I doubt this bit of the California Ed Code will be vigorously enforced any time soon so the administrators are free to continue to serve their own interests at the expense of the education for which the system ostensibly exists.

Donalbain said...

Most fights are not "self defence". Even when someone else starts the fight, the other child usually chooses to continue with it. At least, that is my experience.

Darren said...

After someone swings and connects, it's ridiculous to expect someone to walk away at that point. In "adult" law we don't even expect people to do that.

rightwingprof said...

See the Bells of St. Mary's (Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman).

Darren said...

Allen, I have no doubt you're right. The laws against charging fees have existed for years, yet my own district has flouted those laws for quite some time. Still, though, it only takes one person to make an issue of it....

Scott McCall said...

so, does that possibly mean that all the students who were suspend or expelled from your school because of self defense, can fight this, and get that marking expunged from their record, because the school violated the CA Ed Code?

If so, that means that just because some student was attacked in the hallway, their chance of going to college isn't entirely gone.

Darren said...

Scott, it means *nothing* until someone files a lawsuit and forces the school district to abide by the law.

Kinda like charging illegal fees.