California schools can no longer suspend elementary, middle school students for disruptive behavior

(Photo by Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images)

California’s elementary and middle schools will have to find an alternative to suspension when it comes to dealing with unruly students due to a new law that took effect Wednesday.

Beginning July 1, 2020, it will be illegal for public and charter school officials to suspend students for “willful defiance,” a broad category that includes disrupting class or willfully defying teachers.

California banned these types of suspensions for students up to third grade beginning in 2015. The law Newsom signed permanently bans these suspensions for grades four and five and temporarily restricts them for grades six through eight until 2025.

RELATED: California law bans schools from suspending elementary, middle school students for disruptive behavior

Teachers can still remove students from the classroom for willful defiance, but they could not be suspended.

“We want the teacher to be able to teach their class and not have disruptive students, but we also want to minimize these suspensions,” said the author of Senate Bill 419, Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley. “The more a child is suspended, the more likely they are to do bad in school and just do bad overall.”

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Grades nine through 12 are not covered in the law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.