Alternatives to Suspension

Both California law and the SFUSD Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution (SSSR) provide that suspension is a last resort and may only be utilized when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct, except in the following circumstances:

  • A student may be suspended on a first offense if the principal determines that the student has violated CA Education Code 48900(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e), or that the student’s conduct causes a danger to persons.
  • Immediate suspension and expulsion referral are Required for offenses listed under CA Education Code 48915(c)(possession of gun or explosive, brandishing a knife, selling drugs or a sexual assault or battery).

Suspension is otherwise only permissible if the school team has exhausted and documented the Required interventions listed in the relevant Behavior Intervention and Support Discipline Matrix (See chapter 6.2) and determines that suspension is the appropriate response. 

Additionally, the SSSR requires that prior to suspension of an African American student [or any other group that District data identifies as the most disproportionately referred for discipline], the school must contact the Assistant Superintendent or designee, who will ensure that the Matrix interventions have been exhausted and documented.  The Asst. Superintendent will work with the site to identify available supports and interventions for the student. See SFUSD Board Policy 5144 (Discipline) and SFUSD Board Policy 5144.1 (Suspension and Expulsion Due Process)