California Governor, “Gav the Man” Newsom, signed SB 274, which eliminates suspensions for willful defiance, truancy, and chronic tardiness, into law last week. The bill was rightfully criticized as being detrimental to classroom management, as it substitutes “restorative justice” therapy circles for actual accountability. Anyone who has ever been a parent knows that bad behavior is encouraged by a lack of accountability. Anyone that has ever been a human kid knows that. Indeed, teachers statewide had already been reeling from the effects of SB 274’s predecessors. Those predecessors were AB 420 signed into law in 2014, and SB 419 signed into law in 2019. Given the obvious consequences of not holding children accountable for bad behavior, one must ask: Where was the California Teachers Association (CTA)? Did the CTA sell it’s members down the river by not opposing such asinine legislation?
Together, the two predecessor bills eliminated suspensions for willful defiance in K-8 with a sunset date of 2025. SB 274 extended the previous laws to include high school and eliminated the sunset date. After nearly a decade of “restorative justice” policies in public schools, classroom teachers are struggling with classroom discipline and have serious safety concerns. And yet, the CTA refused to take a stance on any of the bills, authored by CTA favorites in the California legislature.
There is evidence that the teachers unions-CTA and local chapters-knew that “restorative justice” policies were a disaster for classroom teachers. Thus, there is no excuse for the CTA sitting by and watching these bills get passed.
Such knowledge is evident in a 2018 CTA publication entitled “Closing The School Discipline Gap. The handbook describes that “educators are very frustrated” since the passage of AB 420 in 2014. The CTA recognized that “many” educators believed “that discipline problems at their schools have increased, students are not being held accountable for their behavior and teaching conditions have worsened.” Go figure.
The CTA gives a very strong signal on where they stand with the cover of that booklet. More cowbell! Behold.
Keep in mind, that one of the reasons for “restorative justice” (includes MTSS, PBIS, and more) was so students would not miss class due to suspension. Instead, students are assigned a lifetime of “restorative justice circles”, and those circles have to happen sometime. Any guesses when? Yep, students are pulled out of classes to attend therapy circles.
More recently and locally, in a 2023 email obtained by DesertTruth from the CTA chapter Desert Sands Teachers Association (DSTA), the union made it clear that there were discipline issues in the classrooms. The email was in regard to negotiating talking points with the district. DSTA reported that the main concern of members, from 18 sites, was safety. The union was so concerned that it appears to encourage members to file false workers compensation claims. In addition, the DSTA cited daily incidences of “hitting, pinching, kicking, biting, slapping, punching, and spitting on educators” in… Elementary School!
But that isn’t all! In middle schools it was fights, fights, and more fights. Boys fights. Girls fights. “You name it…. students are so violent that staff is afraid to go to work.”
Still more! High schools have a problem with “savvy [students] knowing how to get teachers in trouble.” In truth, the high school students are probably on the right track. At least that is our experience with the public reaching out to DesertTruth with various CRT/DEI course materials from local schools.
Support and Opposition
AB 420 was authored by then California Assemblyman, Roger Dickinson (D-7th). Opposition to the bill was meager. The support for the bill, as shown in the final Senate Floor analysis, is actually too long to list. However, there are notable supporters. Such as, the ACLU, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Association of California School Administrators, California School Boards Association, and the Black Parallel School Board (BPSB).
Wait a minute. Back up. The Black Parallel School Board? Yes, really. The BPSB exists, according to their website, to:
“The Black Parallel School Board (BPSB) is a community organization developed to work parallel to the Sacramento City Unified District Board of Education. The BPSB’s major responsibility is to support the educational growth and achievement of Black students by monitoring all educational activities and programs of the school district to ensure that they are compatible with the needs of African American students in the district. Additionally, the BPSB provides support services to parents regarding the education of their children.“BPSB About page
This begs the question, can anyone form an “alternate school board”? We might want to look into that, perhaps a Queen organization.
SB 419, authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-9th) in 2019, had a similar cast of supporters and detractors. That being, a multitude and very few, respectively. Once again, school administrators and school boards seem to have worked against their self-interest by supporting the bill. Yet, while the CTA was nowhere to be found in 2013-14, they at least recognized SB 419 was in the legislature. CTA put the bill on their “watch list” in a 2019 report to the board. In other words, no stance. Even though the CTA knew by then that their members were having a terrible time with classroom management.
Recall that AB 420 was authored by then Assemblyman, Roger Dickinson. CTA did not even put this bill on a watch list, though were quick to implement it once it was signed into law. So isn’t it interesting that Assemblyman Dickinson’s top donor, according to followthemoney.org, was the CTA? Probably just a coincidence.
SB 419 was authored by the complete loon of a Senator, Nancy Skinner in 2019. As a quick aside, California Secretary of State pages show a committee for Skinner for Treasurer 2026. Just a heads up. And, remember the CTA, aware of their members problems, merely watched the bill.
Interestingly enough, the CTA and Senator Skinner seem to be BFFs. According to followthemoney.org, CTA is Skinner’s ninth top donor, showing seven records totaling $50,200. In addition, the CTA graded Skinner an A+ in their 2023 Capitol Track which rates legislators. Probably just another coincidence. In any case, it’s hard to imagine the CTA didn’t know what it’s puppets were doing, or the consequences thereof, considering they are “experts” and all.
Quick to Implement
As mentioned earlier, while CTA had nothing to say in 2014, they were quick implement AB 420. This is evidenced in the April 2016 edition of CTA publication the California Educator, in an article entitled “Restorative Justice: A Positive Approach to Discipline: How educators can help change school culture“. The CTA stated at the time:
“To engage educators in critical conversations about the most effective ways to create restorative schools, CTA, in partnership with Restorative Schools Vision Project, The California Endowment, and Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, will present several regional convenings that will explore best practices for implementing restorative justice in schools. (Please note: These are discussions, not trainings.)“
All the partners mentioned just happen to be extreme leftist and/or shady organizations. For example, Restorative Schools Vision Project (RSVP). According to California DoJ pages, RSVP was founded in 2014 as a Charitable Trust. Since that time, RSVP has been consistently delinquent in it’s filings.
A search of the board members on the FEC.gov website, revealed that all principals had given up to hundreds of donations–100% to democrat causes and politicians. This is common theme that long time readers will recognize, anything related to public schools like consultants or interest groups, are always extreme leftists organizations. Always. Luckily there are groups in California working to counter the DEI curriculum, but it is not for me to steal their thunder–it is in the works though!
RSVP also has a rainbow themed Facebook page, though the last post was spreading misinformation to kids in 2020.
Hey Teachers! Leave those Unions Alone!
2020 candidate for State Superintendent for Public Instruction was correct when he surmised there would be “dire consequences of… classes without discipline.” This writer can confirm early retirement was preferable to the unsafe working conditions and unconscionable curriculum found in California schools.
Given that the CTA has little concern for classroom conditions, beyond the cult of the Alphabet Mafia and “restorative justice” dogma, I ask current teachers to critically think on their current circumstances. The CTA stood idly by three times, while their besties in the California Legislature passed willful defiance measure detrimental to school staff safety. Not only that, but the CTA controlled school boards, and public school administrators actively endorsed all three laws. But now, your union wants to bargain with school boards over safety issues. So, are the CTA and school boards two sides of the same coin playing you? Or is it all coincidence? Look to your school board, how many are retired teachers or still teaching in other districts.
And don’t let them claim ignorance or gaslight you with lies. Again.
Luckily for teachers, should they decide to stand up instead of turning over for a belly-rub, is that Janus v. AFSCME allows them to quit the union and stop paying dues. Despite, what your contract says, you will not have to donate your dues to charity, you get to keep them. You’re teachers, and so smart, do a little research. You just may realize you have been indoctrinated into the benign evil of standing by and doing nothing about atrocious policies.