Wash. DC: City council wants to limit K-8 suspensions; teachers oppose them

Nov 22, 2017, Washington Post: D.C. Council proposes measure to rein in school suspensions The District’s school leaders are decrying a D.C. Council proposal that would limit administrators’ authority to suspend and expel unruly students, saying it could endanger teachers and usurp their ability to discipline students. D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) wrote the measure, which would prohibit out-of-school suspensions for what he calls minor offenses. Grosso described it as an effort to push schools to adopt alternative disciplinary practices. Critics of suspensions say they derail a child’s educational progress while doing little do address underlying causes of misbehavior. “What we’re trying to do is getting people in K though 8 to invest in accountability mechanisms like restorative justice,” said Grosso, referring to a practice of getting students to talk out conflicts with teachers or students. He also worries about disparate use of suspensions: Black students in the District are seven times more likely than their white peers to face suspension. … Grosso’s bill would bar schools from suspending students until high school. An exception would be made if a child threatens or causes “significant bodily injury or emotional distress.”