Schools should be places where students are included, respected, and supported. But in New York, students lose hundreds of thousands of days in the classroom each year because of suspensions, often for normal youthful behavior. These punishments disproportionately impact Black and Latinx students and those with disabilities.
Students who miss 20 days or more in a single year have a dramatically reduced chance of graduation. And in New York, suspensions can last up to an entire school year.
The Judge Judith S. Kaye Solutions Not Suspensions bill requires schools to use proven alternatives to suspension that correct misbehavior and keep kids in the classroom.
The legislation would:
• Require school codes of conduct to include restorative approaches to discipline, to proactively foster a school community based on cooperation, communication, trust, and respect
• Limit the use of suspensions for students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade to only the most serious behavior
• Shorten the maximum length of suspension from 180 to 20 school days
• Require that students who are suspended receive academic instruction, and the opportunity to earn credit, complete assignments, and take exams.
The Solutions Not Suspensions act promotes proven methods that hold students accountable and help them learn from their mistakes, while keeping them in the classroom.