- Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Approves Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin’s Resolution to Commemorate Ten Years of the School Climate Bill of Rights (05-10-23)
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Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Approves Board
Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin’s Resolution to Commemorate Ten Years of the School Climate Bill of Rights
LOS ANGELES, CA ( May 10, 2023) — On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin’s resolution to commemorate a decade of the School Climate Bill of Rights and honor the progress made thus far.
The resolution deepens implementation of the School Climate Bill of Rights through: continuing to provide resources that have become available because of the original resolution a decade ago; publicly endorsing SB 274, the statewide permanent elimination of suspensions for willful defiance; and directing the Independent Analysis Unit to assess the impact over the last ten years to inform the board on potential future climate opportunities.
“Today we celebrate ten years of the School Climate Bill of Rights, alongside the youth, parents and community leaders who have come together once again to lift up the importance of eliminating punitive discipline practices in our schools and choosing restorative approaches instead,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “This resolution is one piece of many in the movement towards educational and racial justice. With it, we aim to continue cultivating school conditions that are holistic and transformational; where discipline is compassionate and seeks to meet underlying needs rather than punish and exclude; and where every student is given every opportunity to be prepared to thrive in their chosen college, career and life.”
“As we commemorate ten years since the School Climate Bill of Rights was introduced, we recognize the transformative change when we focused on support rather than punishment, alternatives rather than banishment, individualized care rather than a generalized punitive response,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Not only have our expulsions declined and graduation rates increased as a result of this approach, but we have also implemented directives that bolster the long-term development of students by protecting instructional time, improving attendance and fostering greater social emotional wellbeing.”
“When we adopted the School Climate Bill of Rights, we said no to harsh discipline that hurts our kids and yes to positive interventions that help them grow – no to pushing kids out of school and yes to bringing them back in,” Board President Jackie Goldberg said. “And now, ten years later, we’ve seen the results: happier students, healthier schools, and brighter futures. I fully support continuing these important efforts.”
“The student bill of rights is an important resolution because it allows us to hear from those directly affected by our work: the students,” Board Vice President Schmerelson said. “As adults, it is easy to think we know what is always best for our students. While we as a district may have knowledge, analytics and vast resources, we are not capable of looking into the thoughts and minds of the student body. This is why it is crucial to commemorate ten years of the School Climate Bill of Rights. It lets students know that we are listening to them and that their concerns are not being ignored.”
“Cultivating a school environment that makes students feel welcome, accepted and supported was one of my priorities as a principal,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “I knew that earning students’ trust and respect in and out of the classroom was directly tied to a positive school culture that was embraced and upheld by every single faculty and staff member on campus. My former students still share fond memories of their school experiences with me when I see them in the community. I hope that our educators and school leaders continue to invest in developing positive rapport with their students because it will pay dividends later.”
“Pausing to recognize the tenth anniversary of the School Climate Bill of Rights offers us an opportunity not only to celebrate where we have succeeded in creating safe and healthy school environments, but to take an honest look at ways the District can and must do better to honor this commitment,” Board Member Dr. Rocío Rivas said. “Tackling challenging school situations with these principles foremost in our mind, will help our Board lead with justice, equity and compassion for all students.”
“Los Angeles Unified is proud to lead the way in promoting a safe, welcoming and positive school climate for every student districtwide,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “We celebrate ten years of our School Climate Bill of Rights, and look forward to continuing to make progress on supporting and empowering our students for many more years to come.”
“Today, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to foster a positive school culture that puts students at the center and takes proactive rather than reactive approaches to discipline,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “Since the School Climate Bill of Rights passed ten years ago, Los Angeles Unified has been a leader in positive behavior interventions and supports, and I look forward to continued efforts to sustain our progress and deepen our work so that all students feel welcomed and safe at school.”
“I want to give a huge shout out to our team, to the community and to all those that have been in support of our movement,” Director of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition Christian Green said. “The work is still not done and this resolution is super important for us to get behind and support.”
“This was an important step in healing the wounds of anti-black racist policies that criminalize our communities,” Senior Core Parent Leader at Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE) LaTanya Hull said. “It gives our students, parents and our community members hope and opportunity to address discipline issues in a historical way.”
“The School Climate Bill of Rights fundamentally changed the way we talk about school climate,” Director of Education at Community Coalition Miguel Dominguez said. “It is easy for us to take for granted today the need for alternatives to suspensions, the need for mental health and wellness, the need to recognize trauma and center healing.”
“Ever since the passage and implementation of the School Climate Bill of Rights, ten years ago, it has positively impacted students all across Los Angeles Unified,” Operations Coordinator for the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition Jedi Jimenez said. “As I was a youth leader 2013-2014 I saw the power in the youth, the parents and the whole community come together to voice the rights of young people.”
“I want to celebrate you, Los Angeles Unified,” former Los Angeles Unified Board Member Mónica García said. “Thank you for believing in our students. Thank you for believing in change when we supported the youth voices. They wanted to end willful defiance and wanted to lift restorative justice in every campus. We knew we would need to change, we knew we would have to learn, we knew we would have to lead. Ten years later our organization is better for it. Thank you to all the unsung heroes doing the work. ¡Adelante!”
“What an amazing passage of an effort to make certain that young people of color are no longer being criminalized, stigmatized and marginalized in their school setting for their behavior,” President and CEO of The California Endowment Dr. Robert Ross said. “Getting rid of willful policies which disproportionately impact black and brown students with expulsions and suspensions, we have seen a marked reduction in those suspensions and expulsions and not just in LA but in the state of California.”
To read the full resolution, visit here.
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