City Department of Education Should Help Misbehaving Students Instead of Simply Disciplining Them
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In New York City schools, students who need the most help are often the same students who miss class time because they’re punished. Rather than suspend them or demonize them, these students should receive a guidance counselor or social worker. Education is a child’s right — not a reward for good behavior. Sadly, in our public schools, the kids who need help the most are often the same kids missing school because of a suspension, ticket or even an arrest. During 2013-14, more than four arrests or criminal summonses were issued every day of the school year, turning routine misbehavior like drawing on the desk into criminal matters. “Insubordination” and horseplay resulted in nearly 14,000 suspensions for sixth through 12th graders. Young men of color and those with special needs bear the brunt of these policies. The consequences are severe: Children who get pushed into the criminal justice system are less likely than their peers to graduate. The good news is that school arrests and summonses have gone down over the past year — as has crime