The Right To Remove A Disruption
But Los Angeles teacher Martha Infante says she does not believe eliminating suspensions is the right move for her school district.
"If I see the classroom environment is suffering, that the students are getting scared, I will remove the problem student because my other students have rights, too," she says.
She teaches at Los Angeles Academy Middle School. Infante, who has taught for 16 years, says she believes her ability to suspend disruptive students is an important tool to maintain control of her classroom.
"The more time you spend on discipline issues, it affects the classroom environment," she says. "And sometimes, it doesn't matter how much time I take. It ends up not making a difference, and there's no change in behavior."
Infante says she doesn't hand out suspensions willy-nilly, and often just the threat of a suspension can be effective. Otherwise, she says, "You offer counseling, you get services, whatever services are available."
The problem is, in this era of budget cuts, counselors and psychiatric social workers are in short supply.