October 23, 2019

School suspensions don’t work. California is right to restrict them

Read the entire op-ed by E4E-Los Angeles member Christina Kim on Cal Matters.

I once had a student who needed intensive behavioral support. Some people at my school felt this student should be suspended because of his erratic behavior. The reality was different. 

Acting out was his way of saying, “I need help.”

What people did not know was that this student had gone through extensive trauma. He has witnessed his father get arrested and his mother taken away by Border Patrol agents. His behavior at school was a result of him hurting and not understanding how to process his emotions.

Instead of pushing him out of school, we advocated to get him the resources he needed, inside and outside of school. Counselors worked with him multiple times a week focusing on strategies to help him cope with his emotions.

To read the complete op-ed, visit Cal Matters.