The overuse of suspensions to discipline students has negative impacts on student learning and increases dropout rates. As an alternative, restorative justice and positive behavioral systems address the root of students’ misbehavior and lead to better outcomes. We support the implementation of progressive codes of conduct that create a positive school climate.
Safe and Supportive Schools Bill
91,495 – that’s the number of suspensions in New York State for the 2015-2016 school year according to the New York State School Report Card (the most recent data available). That’s more than 500 suspensions per day. Even children in kindergarten have been faced with suspension for typical age-level behavior.
The Safe and Supportive Schools Bill is designed to decisively reduce suspensions in the hopes that instead of using suspension as the quick fix for wrongdoing, schools will become equipped to identify the root problem, and help students to overcome it, rather than limiting students’ education and later opportunities while ignoring the real problem. Suspensions don’t help the students learn or allow the teachers to teach.
Buffalo and Rochester Adopt Progressive Code of Conduct – Who’s Next?
The Buffalo community worked hard to implement a progressive Code of Conduct that reduces the overuse of harsh discipline practices, especially for non-violent incidents. Rochester soon followed and has been implementing their new Code of Conduct since 2016. Both de-emphasize suspensions and are committed to ending the school-to-prison pipeline.