Moms Group Applauds Passage of Maryland Legislation Restricting Suspensions and Expulsions of Children in Pre-K through Second Grade
April 11, 2017
MARYLAND -- Over the weekend, state legislation to significantly restrict disciplinary actions like suspensions and expulsions of public school students in pre-K through second grade passed over Republican opposition. The new law will ban expulsion as a penalty for children in almost all cases, and restrict the use of suspensions only to narrow, case-by-case circumstances.
In response to the bill’s passage, Monifa Bandele, Vice President at MomsRising, issued the following statement:
“Moms across Maryland applaud the State Legislature for passing legislation that would eliminate out-of-school suspensions for children in second grade or lower. With more than 2,000 of Maryland’s youngest students suspended last year, this is an epidemic that hurts families and children and makes our schools less effective. It is long past time that our elected officials tackled this issue head-on.
“The reality is that school suspensions disproportionately affect children with disabilities and children of color. Students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities. Black students with disabilities represent more than 50 percent of suspended students with disabilities. Black students also served longer suspensions on average and were more likely to be suspended for subjective misconduct like insubordination. This practice and profiling has got to stop, not only in kindergarten through 2nd grade, but throughout the public school system.
“Every child deserves a good education and our schools should provide a pathway to success, not a pipeline to prison. Only by demilitarizing our schools and investing in and expanding the use of social emotional development, restorative justice and trauma-informed care in schools - which includes non-punitive discipline models like peer mediation and conflict resolution - can we create a positive and healthy school environment that sets all kids up for success.”