LOS ANGELES – A 2013 press release from the Los Angeles Unified School District blared the news:

LAUSD was becoming the first district in California to ban student suspensions for “willful defiance.”

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Instead the district launched a non-punitive “restorative justice” approach to student discipline.

The change was pushed by the Obama administration, which was concerned about the high number of black students being suspended in the district, and the Pacific Educational Group, a consulting company that preaches about “white privilege” in schools and the negative impact it has on black students.

The new approach has worked, at least when it comes to student suspensions.

Suspensions in the district dropped from eight percent in 2007-08 to less than one percent in 2014-15, the Los Angeles Times reported. Schools days lost to suspensions fell from 75,000 in 2007-08 to 5,024 last year.

But many teachers in the Los Angeles district report that the new system has resulted in a state of chaos in many schools, because students realize there are no serious consequences for their actions.

“My teachers are at their breaking point,” Art Lopez, the Los Angeles Academy Middle School’s union representative, wrote in a letter that was quoted last year by the Los Angeles Times.

“Everyone working here is highly aware of how the lack of consequences has affected the site. Teachers with a high number of students with discipline issues are walking a fine line between extreme stress and an emotional meltdown.”

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A 2014 article published by Investors Business Daily describes the new approach to student discipline at LAUSD.

“Instead of being kicked out of school or suffering other serious punishment, even repeat offenders get ‘restorative justice’ therapy.

“They can negotiate the consequences for their bad behavior, which usually involves ‘dialogue sessions,’ in which teachers join unruly kids in ‘talking circles’ to foster greater ‘cultural understanding.’ Talk invariably turns to racism and ‘white bias.’ Teachers are trained to make sure black kids feel respected.”

That’s the way it should be, according to the people who run the Pacific Educational Group (PEG).

PEG has been a contractual consultant for hundreds of school districts across the nation, including LAUSD. It hosts workshops for teachers to “learn about the oppressive system known as the American Education System, a school system that was never designed for children of color.”

PEG officials openly reject the idea of suspensions or expulsions for misbehaving black students. Instead they tend to rationalize the poor behavior, viewing black kids as victims.

“White educators are prone to wondering why black and brown boys are prone to fighting in school,” writes Glenn Singleton, PEG’s founder. “They question why violence is taught in homes of color.

“Missing from this analysis however is how these boys might be affected by growing up in a white-governed country which threatens young men of color at will, distrusts their ability to succeed and follow the law, and allows daily racial stress to mount in neighborhoods, schools and classrooms.”

But many teachers in the district say too many students are now out of control, because they won’t face consequences for their actions.

“I was terrified and bullied by a fourth-grade student,” an unidentified teacher posted on the district’s website, according to an article in the New York Times. “The black student told me to ‘Back off, b—h.’ I told him to go to the office and he said, ‘No, b—h, and no one can make me.’”

Another teacher was quoted as saying, “We now have a ‘restorative justice’ counselor, but we still have the same problems. Kids aren’t even suspended for fights or drugs.”

“Where is the justice for the students who want to learn?” said Michael Lam, an eighth-grade math teacher, was quoted as saying by the LA Times. “I’m afraid our standards are getting lower and lower.”

Veteran Los Angeles police officer Sylvester Wiley told the LA Times that, “Now that they can’t suspend, schools want to have officers handle things, but we constantly tell them we can’t do this. Willful defiance is not a crime.”