Another Victory in School Discipline Reform!
Grassroots advocates working to reform school discipline are on a roll! The latest victory comes from the Recovery School Districts in New Orleans, which will no longer suspend students for minor misbehaviors (like uniform violations) thanks to the organizing efforts of groups like Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign, and other allies. New Orleans joins Philadelphia and New York City in implementing new discipline policies that seek to keep students in the classroom rather than pushing them out of school.
According to the Dignity in School Campaign:
"In RSD district-run public schools during the 2007-2008 school period, 3,537 students, or 1 in 4 students, were suspended out of school at least once according to Pushed Out a report published by FFLIC. This is more than double the statewide rate in Louisiana and over four times the national rate. Since the aforementioned period, the high rate of suspension has not changed drastically even though RSD has control over fewer schools."
Under the new policy, students can longer be barred from the classroom for minor infractions like disrespect, willful disobedience or dress code violations
FFLIC's organizing efforts are part of a statewide effort to reform school discipline. Indeed they're part of a national effort to keep students in the classroom and stop school pushout. DSC and its members from across the country recently joined the OTL Campaign to launch "Solutions Not Suspensions: A call for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions." In order to close the achievement gap and ensure all students have access to the resources they need to succeed, we must end out-of-school suspensions and implement policy solutions that keep students in the classroom.