The Round-Up!

restorative_roundup

5.10.13

Even though many of you know that our policy work is focused on California, school districts all across the country are making moves from punitive to restorative justice practices in their schools. We want to include school districts that are beginning to have these important conversations, as well as  bring you more of these success stories! Here are some recent stories that made headlines.

Disruptions in Syracuse schools spur debate over discipline, suspensions

Teachers and some administrators are clashing over of the use of suspensions and expulsions in their schools. Syracuse Superintendent, Sharon Contreras sites a slightly higher suspension rates this year than last, and growing concern about racially-skewed suspension rates highlighted in a national study put out by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Superintendent Contreras has convened a committee to look at discipline numbers and propose alternatives to punitive discipline measures. Read more… 

KISD discipline system sets ‘children up for failure’

Another look at Texas’ school-to-prison-pipeline. A 12-year old student with ADD gets sent from one school to another for behavior problems. At the new school, despite parents and staff creating a plan to curb said behaviors – the student then gets suspended for the very behaviors that brought him there. This one example highlights Texas’ reactionary and punitive discipline policies. Deborah Fowler, deputy director for a nonprofit social economic justice group sees restorative justice as a part of the solution. She says, “The system doesn’t help kids with behavior issues get back on track. We need to ensure that the systems we put in place works for kids, as well as teachers and personnel.” Read more…

Suspension rate in Worcester schools higher than Boston’s

An article compares higher suspension rates in Worcester, MA than that of Boston or the entire state of MA, and sites the disproportionate number of suspensions for young men of color. Even preschoolers have been suspended. The School Committee will soon vote on changing policy to ‘eliminate suspensions as a penalty for chronic tardiness and ‘excessive demerits’.’ Read more...

Editorial: Overcoming school discipline hurdles

The Hillsborough County School Board recently opened up a discussion about disproportionate suspension and disciplinary rates for black males. This editorial asks questions about non-bias disciplinary policies and keeping kids in the classroom. It urges the School Board to examine how ‘inappropriate behavior is defined and handled differently by staff.’ Read more…

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