News and Events

Suspensions and Expulsions Decline as Districts Adopt Alternatives, State says

EdSource

A change of approach to school discipline in California schools has resulted in a decline in the number and percentage of students suspended and expelled in academic year 2014-2015 in comparison to academic year 2013-2014 across ethnic groups. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson attributes the shift toward resolving behavior issues in lieu of classroom removals as the causal mechanism for the decline. Effective solutions, restorative practices, and mediation to regulate emotions have contributed to the 13.9 percent decline in expulsions and the 12.8 percent decline in suspensions, according to Torlakson.

Is 'Zero Tolerance' Failing Iowa Schools?

The Des Moines Register

In the state of Iowa the excessive use of suspensions since 2009 has come under much scrutiny. In the last school year, school officials in Iowa suspended students 56,032 times. Though this figure is a reduction from higher numbers in recent times, education advocates see signs of a broken-system.

An overwhelming majority of suspensions were classified as either being caused by disruptive behavior or attendance; 4% of suspensions were the result of ‘fighting without injury’  “By spending time away from the classroom, students are missing out on education and they’re falling behind,” said Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a research analyst for the Sentencing Project, a civil rights advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

New York Attorney General Calls for Albany School Reforms on School Discipline

New York State Office of the Attorney General/WYNT

An Investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found that over a  five year period Albany School District suspended one in eight students each school year, disproportionately affecting minority and disabled students. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came to an agreement with the Albany School District to ensure that school discipline policies are not discriminatory in nature and practice. A. G. Schneiderman took specific aim at the school-to-prison-pipeline which has obstructed vulnerable children from receiving services they need help to succeed.

New Diversion Program Helping Keep LAUSD Students Out-of-Court

LA School Report

A new LA Unified police diversion program, which replaces arrests with counseling, is keeping hundreds of students out of the city’s criminal justice system.

“If we didn’t have this program, a lot would have gone into a courtroom and before a judge,” said LAUSD police chief Steven Zipperman, in a presentation yesterday to the district’s school board Successful School Climate: Progressive Discipline and Safety Committee.

So Just What Should That School Resource Officer Have Done?

The Slate

Clear the room.

That’s how multiple local law enforcement officials say they would have handled an incident caught on videotape in a Columbia-area high school where a school resource officer forcibly removed a female student from her desk and threw her to the floor across a classroom. Videos of the incident quickly went viral and the officer was fired.

Despite Minneapolis Moratorium, K-1 Kids Still Getting Suspended

Star Tribune

A kindergartner in Minneapolis Public Schools got suspended last school year for playing with ChapStick and then fleeing the classroom after being told to stop. Another student was suspended for climbing over a railing. One student was sent home for refusing to follow directions.

None of these suspensions should have happened under a new moratorium that banned such discipline for kindergartners and first-graders who commit nonviolent offenses. But 50 times over the past school year, administrators ignored the rule and sent students home for disruptive behavior, according to a Star Tribune review of suspension records.

St. Paul School Suspensions Drop, But Racial Disparities Stick Around

Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Despite reducing overall suspensions by 25 percent over four years, St. Paul Public Schools continues to kick African-American and American Indian students out of school at alarming rates relative to their peers.


In 2010-11, the district set an ambitious goal for racial equity in school discipline: that the student demographic with the most suspensions be excluded from school at no more than twice the rate of the racial group with the fewest suspensions -- Asian-Americans.


 

Maine School Officials Say Program Is Helping Raise Test Scores, Reduce Discipline Problems

Portland Press Herald

Noble High School officials said Tuesday they are seeing higher test scores and fewer disciplinary problems two years after launching a multimillion-dollar program aimed at ninth-graders that emphasizes making social and emotional connections with students.

 

Third Grader Handcuffed in School

ACLU

The children, an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, were so small that the school resource officer, Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner in Covington, Kentucky, locked the handcuffs around the children's biceps and forced their hands behind their backs, the lawsuit charges. A disturbing video shows the boy, S.R., being shackled and crying out in pain. S.R. has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a history of trauma. 

Virginia tops nation in sending students to cops, courts: Where does your state rank?

The Center for Public Integrity

Kayleb Moon-Robinson was 11 years old last fall when charges — criminal charges — began piling up at school.


Diagnosed as autistic, Kayleb was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.

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