Too Young to Suspend Act

Summary: The Too Young to Suspend Act prohibits the suspension or expulsion of kindergarten and pre-K student with limited exceptions.

Based on California AB 420 (2014)

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Too Young to Suspend Act.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

This law is prohibits kindergarten and pre-K students from being suspended or expelled from school with limited exceptions. The intent is to prevent suspensions or expulsions of difficult young students who may disrupt school activities or willfully defy school authorities but are not any danger to other students.

SECTION 3. SUSPENSIONS AND EXPULSIONS

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) Definitions – In this Act:

1. “Serious bodily injury” shall have the same meaning as provided in section

615(k)(7)(D) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (18 U.S.C. 1365(h)(3)).

2. “Suspension” means the removal of a student from school attendance for a specified period of time.

(B) Discipline for Kindergarten and Pre-K Students

1. A publicly funded school shall not suspend or expel a Kindergarten or Pre-Kindergarten student, unless the school principal determines that the student has committed one of the following acts:

(a) Willfully caused or attempted to cause, or threatened serious bodily injury to another person, except in self-defense; or

(b) On school property, possessed or furnished to another person a firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous substance or object.

2. Notwithstanding subparagraph (1), the [Superintendent] of the school district may:

(a) Transfer a student to another school if it would be a more appropriate placement due to a student’s disabilities or special needs; or

(b) Suspend a student during the pendency of an investigation into whether a student can be lawfully suspended or expelled under subparagraph (1).

(C) Reporting

1. By March 1, 2015, the Office of the [State Superintendent of Education] shall issue guidelines on this provision including recommendations on the length of a suspension if it is determined that a student of Pre-K age committed one of the acts outlined in subparagraph (B)(1).

2. By July 15 of each year, each local education agency shall submit a report to the Office of the [State Superintendent of Education] on all suspensions and expulsions of Kindergarten and Pre-K students.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.


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