May 31, 2018, Christian Science Monitor: Discipline and special ed: Schools work to reduce suspensions https://www.csmonitor.com/EqualEd/2018/0531/Discipline-and-special-ed-Schools-work-to-reduce-suspensions Educators are being asked to pay more attention to equity in their discipline policies. While the focus remains on reducing suspensions for students of color, the number of special education students being suspended is also of concern to advocates. Last month, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights published a report showing that students with disabilities made up 12 percent of enrollment in 2015-16, but accounted for 26 percent of students who received an out-of-school suspension and 28 percent of students who were referred to law enforcement or arrested. Troubling statistics are among the reasons more states are taking action. Tennessee lawmakers just passed a bill banning the spanking or hitting of special education students; Washington State, which is facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, is promising changes to its policies by the fall. Lindsay E. Jones of the National Center for Learning Disabilities says it’s time to address the issue. “There’s no evidence to suggest [students with disabilities] should have more behavior issues,” she says.
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