Across the nation, schools report the highest rates of disproportionality in student discipline for elementary age students. Not only are students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities punished more frequently than their white and wealthier peers, but as a whole, suspensions and expulsions have increased twofold in the last 20 years.
We have an opportunity to make a change in the Seattle School District.
Over the last year, the Positive Climate and Discipline Advisory Committee (PCDAC) has been thoughtfully working on rewriting disciplinary codes in order to keep more students in school.
As current policy stands in Seattle, elementary students can be suspended for rule offenses such as “disruptive conduct” and “disobedience.” Data tells us that vague and subjective policies like these foster disproportionality and contribute to the school to prison pipeline. New policy suggestions would remove suspension as a disciplinary option for such rule infractions, instead opting for parent-teacher conferences and the drafting of alternative behavior plans for students.
THIS Wednesday, the 19th at 4:00 pm, the Seattle School Board will take a vote on whether they will adopt these policy recommendations that limit the types of rule infractions for which elementary school kids can be suspended.
We need you to speak up and let the board know our community wants these changes!
If you can attend let us know, and if you would like to testify–this is the time. If you care about this issue but can’t attend the board meeting next week, send an email to email@example.com and let the board know:
Kids can’t learn if they aren’t in school!
Stop exclusionary discipline policies!
We want solutions, not suspensions!