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Teachers Resist Reduction Of Students Being Suspended – Why?

By: Krystle Crossman

Superintendents of schools are trying to lessen the number of out-of-school suspensions that teachers are giving out but the teachers aren’t having it. The School Superintendents Association surveyed 500 different superintendents from different cities and districts. They all came from schools of varying income levels and demographics. What they found was that half of the superintendents surveyed said that they wanted to reduce the number of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions that are being handed out at schools all across the country.

A few months ago new guidelines were pushed through by the Obama administration that were made to reduce the number of suspensions that are targeted at minorities. The administration is trying to get rid of the school-to-prison pipeline. During an interview with PBS the Attorney General at the time, Eric Holder, said that students should not end up in the police station when they are punished in school, they should only end up in a principal’s office.

The survey asked the superintendents what the most common reasons for the suspensions in their schools were. Thirty percent of the superintendents said that kids were suspended for fighting. Forty percent said that the students were suspended for things such as disrespecting teachers and insubordination. Of the superintendents surveyed, 65% said that they partnered with help outside of the school when it came to disciplinary measures. Of that 65%, 84% said that they were partnered with local law enforcement agencies. 75% said that they also partnered with mental health clinics in the area and 58% were partnered up with local judges.

One of the most important results of the survey was that 72% of the superintendents said that they would get backlash from the teachers and the principals at their schools if they were to reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions. They also said that they would expect to get support from the parents of the students. Why would the teachers oppose something that would be very beneficial to young minority students? Perhaps it is because they feel that if they let the students get away with disrespect that they will grow up to be criminals. Unfortunately students that are suspended when they are young grow up thinking that they are bad kids and can never do anything right which leads them down a bad path.

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