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In recent months, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other New York City dignitaries have come together, united in one cause. They believe that suspension is not the solution; the key is to see every child as an individual with emotions. Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Most behavioral issues are deeply rooted. The fruit of the student might be lashing out, but the root may be something completely different. When we look at the child as a whole human being and not a problem, a solution can be found.

Solutions Not Suspensions states that, “Every year 3.3 million students in the United States are suspended from school, causing them to miss critical learning time, as well as opportunities to grow and succeed.” And statistics show of these 3.3 million students, there are a disproportionate number of students of color and those with a history of abuse, neglect, poverty or learning disabilities. Due to this critical epidemic, NYC has begun taking legal action for the sake of its students.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently stated, “No parent should have to choose between a school that’s safe for their child and a school where every student is treated fairly. All our schools can and must be both. That’s why we are investing in the training and best practices needed to ensure that when problems arise, we fix them first and foremost inside our schools – not by sending a child home or calling 911 needlessly, hurting their education in the process. These changes will help make campuses safer, treat students of every background with dignity, and provide kids with the support they need to learn.”

Through case study research people are seeing the facts, and the facts are that suspensions are not always the answer. Data also shows that there are major repercussions on a child’s future as a direct result of being suspended. “National research shows that a single suspension in high school lowers a student’s odds of graduating in four years by 46 percent, while students nationwide who are arrested during high school are twice as likely as their peers to drop out.” In recent years, schools have seen a significant decline in school crimes when they incorporate preventative and support training methods.

The school training methods that are being implemented in the school climate reforms are associated with the Dignity in Schools Campaign. Dignity in Schools Campaign challenges the previous zero tolerance and No Child Left Behind act and “advocates for the human right of every young person to a quality education and to be treated with dignity.” Along with Solutions Not Suspensions, they are working to defy the status quo.

 

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For more information go to Department of Education: http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/mediarelations/NewsandSpeeches/2014-2015/City+Announces+School+Climate+Reforms.htm