Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues
Do school suspensions work?
Out-of-school suspensions can create more problems than they fix, according to a new report published in the March edition of Pediatrics.
The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics explored suspensions, expulsions and zero tolerance policies in the schools.
It reads, “The adverse effects of out-of-school suspension and expulsion on the student can be profound.”
And the report asks pediatricians to get involved in the issue–both by helping patients and families affected by out-of-school suspensions and by advocating for changes to school discipline policies.
The academy reported that often, suspensions are not paired with any efforts to treat the underlying causes of the bad behavior, which could be bullying, mental illness, drug abuse, racial tensions and family issues. Additionally, the report found that often the students who are suspended most often are the students who don’t have structure or support at home, and so their out-of-school days are pretty much spent unsupervised and in front of the TV. School officials have said that the school division should not be responsible for parenting students.
I’m interested in hearing from doctors, parents and educators who have some experience with suspensions. Do they help? Do they create a hardship? Please get in touch if you have something to add to my story–email@example.com or 540/735-1973.