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Gov. Brown Calls Out Trutanich on Realignment, LAUSD Bans Suspensions for “Willful Defiance”…and More

May 16th, 2013 by Taylor Walker

TRUTANICH “MISLEADING VOTERS” ON REALIGNMENT, SAYS GOVERNOR

With just a few days until the May 21 general election, Gov. Jerry Brown has recorded a message to voters calling out City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for spreading misleading information about prison realignment. Trutanich, who is running a decidedly uphill battle for reelection was originally a supporter of realignment. Now, he has changed his tune, and is bashing opponent Mike Feuer for supporting it, inaccurately pronouncing realignment the “get-out-of-jail early law,” and more.

LA Weekly’s Gene Maddaus has the story. Here’s a clip:

In a mailer, Trutanich calls the plan “the get-out-of-jail early law.” The mailer describes Tobias Summers, the alleged Northridge kidnapper, as “one of Feuer’s get-out-of-jail free graduates.”

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has disputed that, saying that Summers was not released early.

Brown endorsed Trutanich in his failed D.A. campaign, but is now supporting Feuer for city attorney. In the robocall, Brown faults Trutanich for “misleading voters by suddenly attacking a public safety plan he once supported.”

We’d kind of like a city attorney who bothers to check his facts on legal matters, but that’s just us.


WILLFUL DEFIANCE NO LONGER GROUNDS FOR SUSPENDING L.A. KIDS

Tuesday, the LAUSD school board voted to ban suspensions for the catchall, “willful defiance,” in favor of alternative behavioral disciplines. L.A. is the first district in the state to take this large step toward school disciplinary reform.

The state bill on the same issue is making its way through the legislative process. According to Public Counsel spokesman Michael Soller, “AB 420 passed the Assembly Education Committee, and is headed for an appropriations vote on May 24 or 25. If it gets out of that committee, then it’s on to the Senate.”

WitnessLA will certainly be keeping an eye on it.

LA Times’ Teresa Watanabe has the story on LAUSD’s vote. Here’s a clip:

The packed board room erupted in cheers after the 5-2 vote to approve the proposal, which made L.A. Unified the first school district in the state to ban defiance as grounds for suspension. The action comes amid mounting national concern that removing students from school is imperiling their academic achievement and disproportionately harming minority students, particularly African Americans.

“Now we’ll have a better chance to stay in school and become something,” said Luis Quintero, 14, a student at Augustus Hawkins High School in South Los Angeles. He attended the board meeting, along with dozens of other students and community activists who have been pushing the proposal by board members Monica Garcia and Nury Martinez.

But the vote came after an impassioned discussion over whether the proposal would give a “free pass” to students and shield them from the consequences of misbehavior. Board members Marguerite LaMotte told students that they needed to pay for their mistakes, while Richard Vladovic said no student had the right to disrupt learning opportunities for classmates.

“I’m not going to give you permission to go crazy and think there are no consequences,” LaMotte said.


U.S. KIDS’ HIGH EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE AND TRAUMA

According to a new report from JAMA Pediatrics, four out of ten kids in the U.S. were exposed to physical violence in the last year. In addition, an alarming 13.7 percent of the 4,500 children surveyed reported repeated mistreatment from their caregivers.

The Examiner’s Sharon Gloger Friedman has the story. Here’s a clip:

…Survey results showed:

*Physical assault in the past year was reported by 41.2 percent of respondents.

*Assault-related injuries were reported by 10.1 percent of respondents.

*Nearly 11 percent of girls ages 14 to 17 reported sexual assault or abuse.

*Repeated maltreatment by a caregiver was reported by 13.7 percent of respondents; of that group 3.7 percent said they experienced physical abuse.

More than 13 percent of kids reported being physically bullied; one in three said they had been emotionally bullied.
According to Dr. Michael Brody, a child psychiatrist in Potomac, Md., these numbers may be low.

“I think, unfortunately, this [violence] is so endemic to our society, it’s overlooked. It is considered like a cold,” Brody, who often works with victims of childhood violence, and who is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, told HealthDay News.

Brody added that witnessing or experiencing violence as a child can result in rage, lack of security, feelings of powerlessness, nightmares and other psychological aftereffects that last long into adulthood.

Of particular concern are children and teens who suffer frequent exposures to violence. Survey results showed that nearly 15 percent of study participants had been exposed to violence six or more times in the past year and about five percent had been exposed to 10 or more violent acts.

A similar study by the National Survey of Children’s Health found that nearly 48 percent of US youth had experienced at least one major childhood trauma.

Jane Stevens expertly lays out the consequences of this exposure to violence and trauma on her blog, ACEs Too High. Here’s a clip:

Almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma, according to a new survey on adverse childhood experiences by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NHCS). This translates into an estimated 34,825,978 children nationwide, say the researchers who analyzed the survey data.

Even more concerning, nearly a third of U.S. youth age 12-17 have experienced two or more types of childhood adversity that are likely to affect their physical and mental health as adults. Across the 50 U.S. states, the percentages range from 23 percent for New Jersey to 44.4 percent for Arizona.

The data are clear, says Dr. Christina Bethell: If more prevention, trauma-healing and resiliency training programs aren’t provided for children who have experienced trauma, and if our educational, juvenile justice, mental health and medical systems are not changed to stop traumatizing already traumatized children, many of the nation’s children are likely to suffer chronic disease and mental illness. Not only will their lives be difficult, but the nation’s already high health care costs will soar even higher, she believes. Bethell is director of the National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Center, part of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI). The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Service Administration, sponsors the survey.

Those numbers are already formidable, and they get much higher when looking at kids in the juvenile justice system.


KRIS KRISTOFFERSON CONCERT TO RAISE MONEY FOR HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES

And on a happier note, Kris Kristofferson will be performing a benefit concert for Homeboy Industries’ 25th anniversary, at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theater on June 23. (WitnessLA plans to be there.)

FishbowlLA’s Richard Horgan has more details on the concert.

Posted in children and adolescents, City Attorney, Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Jerry), Education, Homeboy Industries, LAUSD, prison, Realignment, Uncategorized, Zero Tolerance and School Discipline | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Don't Finesse Me Bro !!! Says:

    So just what are the consequences when kids are difiant and disrupt the entire classroom? No wonder our education system turns out third world academic minded kids with social promotions and social diplomas. And no wonder these kids struggle in college. The Los Angeles Unified School District is a disgrace. But at least Black kids will have a chance, according to the article. Progressive group thinking is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it? I feel for the kids who want to learn and itt explains why more and more teachers just show up to collect a paycheck and eventually a pension. Teach kids there are no real consequences in life, what a progressive gift.

  2. LAUSD Watcher Says:

    I was a teacher at an alternative high school and we essentially weren’t allowed to suspend kids or send them to the principal’s office if they were disruptive. So we would…talk to them. Seriously. Pull them aside, figure out what was going on, come to some kind of resolution, and put them right back in class. For more serious offenses (a food fight, for example) they would have to do an assignment and present their research. I think in almost 2 years of working there we suspended one student, for fighting, and that was after an intervention with him and his guardian, and we all came to a consensus.

    I’m far from being an expert on classroom management, but there are so many different ways to handle these situations.

    By the way salon has a good article on this today from AlterNet, worth checking out.

  3. J.London Says:

    C: Is Teresa Wantanabe related to Wendy Wantanabe who skewed the audit of Aero Bureau?

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