Students of color, students with disabilities and students in the foster care system are disproportionately suspended and expelled every day. This ineffective form of punishment fosters a cycle of misbehaving and missing critical hours in school. When more students are suspended, studies show ALL students’ academic achievement suffers. That’s why Children’s Law Center supports the Student Fair Access to School legislation so all students can stay engaged and learning. The Washington Post’s Perry Stein recently sat down with CLC Policy Director Sharra Greer to discuss the topic:
Sharra Greer—policy director at the Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit group that provides free legal services to D.C. children and their families—said the bill is necessary in a city that suspended more than 7,000 traditional public and charter school students, or 7.4 percent of all students, in the 2016-2017 academic year.
According to city data, out-of-school suspensions for behavior that was not violent account for more than 60 percent of all suspensions.
The Children’s Law Center has represented clients who have emotional and learning disabilities and who it says have been removed from school for nonviolent behavior out of their control.
“This is enormously important for D.C.,” Greer said. “The link between suspensions and bad academic outcomes is really clear.”