No one wants safe schools more than students. That’s why so many students across the country are demanding that their schools stop suspending them for minor things like chewing gum or arresting them for things like talking back. Instead, they are pushing their schools to focus on what actually make schools safe – like developing positive relationships with teachers; having a chance to make mistakes and learn from them; and having access to supportive and caring school staff that is willing to listen to them and understand where they’re coming from.
Students should follow school rules. But rules that call for suspending, expelling, or arresting students for minor misconduct simply do not make sense or do anything to teach students the right behavior. They just kick students out of the classroom and in many cases, push them out of school.
Students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, and students in low-income and urban communities are often affected even more than others.
All students deserve better. All students deserve the opportunity to learn in safe and caring environments.
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