SAN DIEGO — San Diego Unified parents spoke out about a controversial disciplinary policy they say is letting some troublesome students stay in school instead of getting expelled or suspended. 

They took their concerns directly to the school board at Tuesday’s meeting.

“This policy has not only failed my son, but has also failed offender by offering very little to no consequences for their actions,” Amy Mullins-Boychak said.

The board passed the “restorative discipline policy” in 2020, with a focus on keeping kids in class and reducing the number of suspensions and expulsions, especially within minority groups. 

“Please help us change these policies because I don’t want to be another statistic in America,” Sulma Hernandez said. 

Parents at Standley Middle School first raised concerns over repeated incidents involving the same student.

Norris Hills says that student was, “threatening to kill kids, telling them to their face ‘I will kill you with this gun’ or a gun in the future,” among other similar incidents.  

That group of parents have now joined with others sharing the same feelings district wide in a Facebook group called SDParents4Safety.

“Concerns are not only isolated to Standley Middle School, but happening throughout the district. Our kids have the right to education a safe environment and this policy does not offer that,” Mullins-Boychak said.

Board Vice President Shana Hazan said she appreciated the feedback on the restorative policy and added “the superintendent will be looking into it to make sure it is doing what it’s designed to do so that every single student is safe.  

After public comment, board Vice President Hazan responded to the issues raised and after the meeting ended she and another trustee met directly with district parents acknowledging there is work to be done. 

“We have some serious issues going on especially post covid around discipline that we’re going to have to wrestle with real solutions to the parents,” Trustee Cody Petterson said.