Last month, at a Minneapolis mayoral forum hosted at North High School, incumbent Betsy Hodges lauded Bernadeia Johnson, former Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent, for banning the use of suspension for nonviolent behavior for kindergartners and first-graders — a move that her successor, Michael Goar, expanded to cover all students through grade 5. The fact that schools would even resort to suspending an elementary student struck Hodges as “a ridiculous notion.”
It’s a consequence that may not cross the minds of many parents. But state data show that elementary student suspensions — removal from school for a period of 1 to 10 days — aren’t all that uncommon. During the 2015-16 school year, for example, Minneapolis Public Schools still reported 986 K-5 suspensions/exclusions/expulsions, while the numbers in the St. Paul public school district were even higher: 1,833 — the most in Minnesota.
(Expulsion is defined as “a school board action to prohibit an enrolled student from further attendance for up to 12 months from the date the student is expelled.” Exclusion is “an action taken by the school board to prevent enrollment or re-enrollment of a student for a period that shall not extend beyond the school year.”)
Read the whole story at MinnPost.