The Notebook has a content sharing arrangement with Education Week, where this article originally appeared.
by Nirvi Shah
When the student-government president here at City Springs Elementary/Middle School turned into the class clown last school year and began treating teachers disrespectfully, administrators had many options for how to deal with him, including sending him home for a few days to cool his heels.
After years of youth organizing groups making arguments against the District’s “zero-tolerance” policy, members of the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools achieved a victory in August.
The School Reform Commission voted to adopt a new student code of conduct, which gives principals more authority to handle disciplinary cases and puts more emphasis on intervention and prevention rather than punishment.
[Updated, 8:15 p.m.] The School Reform Commission, meeting Thursday evening, ratified a change to its new student code of conduct, heard a staff presentation on the status of charter renewals, and listened to extensive testimony from parents at two charter schools clouded by a scandal.
Briana Jackson said her life changed when Mastery Charter took over Gratz High School a year ago.
The self-described former troublemaker, now a senior, said that the transformation isn't yet complete; she still gets detentions now and then. But the person who was regularly suspended has turned into a serious student, athlete and student-government member with her sights set on attending Howard University and becoming a nurse.
The Notebook has a content-sharing agreement with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared. Last week, the School Reform Commission revised the District's Student Code of Conduct to prohibit the use of out-of-school suspension for several low-level offenses.
The School Reform Commission voted Thursday evening to adopt a revised code of conduct that gives principals more discretion in handling disciplinary cases and prevents some infractions from being punished by out-of-school suspensions.
Incoming Superintendent William Hite told a roomful of school leaders at the District's annual leadership summit Monday morning that enforcement of rules is just one piece of school discipline and that "zero tolerance" to him means "a preventive set of strategies," rather than a punishment tool.
A new committee of the School Reform Commission attempted Tuesday evening to tackle an old issue – school violence.
First, the SRC’s new Safety and Engagement Committee was presented with a report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Safe Schools, originally convened more than a year ago by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and then-Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.
The national issue of high rates of expulsion and suspension that disproportionately affect students of color, highlighted locally by a study earlier this year, is the subject of this investigative report just published by the Center for Public Integrity. The Center is a Notebook partner through the Investigative News Network.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As he waited for his first disciplinary appeal hearing to begin this fall, the sixth-grade student began sobbing.
He was barely 11 years old. He had been expelled again — for the rest of the school year — from his Bakersfield elementary school district, this time for alleged sexual battery and obscenity.
The offense: “Slapping a girl on the buttock and running away laughing,” according to school documents.
Opponents of the District's "zero tolerance" policy scored a victory in September when the District eliminated the phrase from its student code of conduct.
Just how big a victory remains unclear.
The policy, enacted in October 2008 under former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, spurred an increase in student expulsions, igniting opposition from activists who want to see alternatives to punitive disciplinary policies.