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W. Virginia: New state suspension law could harm special needs students

Sept 18, 2023, My Droll: State BOE president says new student suspension law is ‘a train wreck waiting to happen’
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Board of Education President Paul Hardesty says he has concerns about a new law that would require school principals to suspend a student if they’ve been removed from a classroom more than three times within a month.

“This is a train wreck waiting to happen,” Hardesty recently told members of the state Board of Education.

HB 2890, which modifies student discipline in the classroom, was approved by state lawmakers earlier this year.

The law requires students in kindergarten through 12th grade who are removed from the classroom for disruptive behavior be prohibited from returning to the classroom for the remainder of the day. It would be counted as an in-school suspension. If the student is kicked out of class more than three times within a month, the student must receive an out-of-school suspension….

McClanahan said the law puts schools who don’t have an in-school suspension program at a disadvantage.

“It does tie the hands of a principal. If you do not have an in-school suspension program in your school, it means that a one-day minimum suspension must occur if there are three removals in a calendar month,” he said.

The removal is “as determined by the teacher,” according to the law. Hardesty said he doesn’t agree with that. He said some teachers, including substitutes, are not properly trained to respond to disruptive behavior, especially among students with special needs….


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