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(CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / EPA)

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Monday that would have required school districts that have zero-tolerance policies toward drugs or alcohol use to hold community-wide conversations on whether expulsions related to substance abuse deter students from seeking help for mental health problems.

Brown said in a statement that he declined to sign the bill because, while he agrees with its goal, "this is a matter more appropriately handled at the local level."

Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) initially proposed the legislation after learning about a suicide cluster in Fresno.  "It’s not to say they were caused by substance abuse, but these students are going through difficult times in their lives," he said in an interview. "They might express that through substance abuse, but that’s not the underlying problem."

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(Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

Twice a month, Madin Lopez — who is genderqueer, identifying neither as male nor female — gives free haircuts to dozens of young LGBTQ people, offering them a space where their identity is not only respected but also discussed openly.

Lopez asks each new person: What are your preferred gender pronouns? The words ‘THEY’ and ‘THEM’ — the stylist’s preferred pronouns — are tattooed across Lopez’s fingers.

Lopez, 30, runs a free haircutting operation through a small nonprofit called Project Q, the ‘Q’ standing for queer. Many of the young people whose hair they cut are homeless or struggling. Many are just kids trying to figure out who they are.

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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
A March protest in support of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez
A March protest in support of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez (Michael Balsamo/AP)

The family of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an immigrant in the country illegally whose case has drawn international media attention, was devastated to learn that he could be deported as early as next week.

Avelica-Gonzalez, 49, has been held at a federal detention facility since Feb. 28, when immigration agents arrested him minutes after he dropped off his 12-year-old daughter at her Lincoln Heights school.

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • California State University
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
Departing L.A. Unified board member Monica Ratliff
Departing L.A. Unified board member Monica Ratliff (Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

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(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Don’t underestimate the value of getting along. That’s one piece of advice from former school board members Steve Zimmer and Monica Ratliff to the new Los Angeles school board majority.

After this year’s contentious Board of Education election marked by ugly, often false accusations, it’s unclear how easy getting along will be.

In contests that broke spending records, charter school supporters were the biggest spenders and they succeeded in electing the new majority bloc. Zimmer and Ratliff expressed concern that the growth of charters would threaten the district’s financial health.

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(Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette)

The $84-billion back-to-school shopping season is back just in time as far as beleaguered mall merchants are concerned.

Consumer spending on kids and young adults returning to the classroom not only is the second-largest shopping period behind the winter holidays, but it’s one when many conventional physical stores are holding their own against the surge of online competition.

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Kern High School District has settled a school discipline discrimination lawsuit in Kern County Superior Court, promising to create new discipline policies with help from experts on unconscious racial bias and to schedule continued training for teachers on less punitive techniques to minimize disruptions.

Most of the 19 petitioners in the matter will get $5,000 each to further their or their children’s education.

The agreement last week also mandates that the district hold two community forums a year to report on school discipline data and student surveys. It outlines strict procedures for informing parents of disciplinary actions and police referrals, and requires that students who are suspended for an extended period pending a hearing get full access to schoolwork.

(Alex J. Berliner / Associated Press)

USC faced a choice five years ago: Keep Dr. Carmen Puliafito at the helm of the Keck School of Medicine or replace him.

Keck employees had complained repeatedly about what they considered Puliafito’s hair-trigger temper, public humiliation of colleagues and perceived drinking problem, and many were adamant he be removed, according to current and former university employees as well as four letters of complaint reviewed by The Times.

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Ashley Gonzalez, right, with her mother, Reyna
Ashley Gonzalez, right, with her mother, Reyna (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

For four years, Ashley Gonzalez skimped on sleep, family outings and hanging out with friends to excel at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles. Her work paid off when she achieved her lifelong dream of admission to the University of California.

Then UC Irvine, her campus of choice, abruptly rescinded its acceptance, just two months before the start of the fall quarter.

Gonzalez, who has filed an appeal, is one of 499 UC Irvine students whose offers of admission have been withdrawn for this fall — 290 of them for transcript issues and the rest for poor senior-year grades, according to campus data.

(Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

In California:

Nationwide: