Jan. 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin
State Senator Jessica Ramos rallied alongside advocates in Albany Monday to urge state lawmakers to pass a bill that would limit suspensions in public schools.
The bill, titled the Judge Judith Kaye Solutions not Suspension Act, was introduced by Brooklyn State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and aims to make the use of suspensions a last resort to discipline students in order to prevent ongoing racial disparities across state schools.
School suspensions have been linked to students dropping out and ending up in the criminal justice system — and Black and Hispanic students are suspended at much higher rates than their peers, statistics show.
Instead the bill, co-sponsored by Ramos and 20 other state senators, calls on schools to adopt less punitive actions to combat poor student conduct.
Students who miss classroom time through suspension are less likely to succeed and are more likely to wind up in the prison system.
In New York State, students lose 686,686 days of school a year due to suspensions, according to statistics cited by the sponsors of the bill.
The bill would limit long term suspensions to no more than 20 school days and prohibit suspending students in kindergarten through third grade, except in situations of serious physical injury.
Currently, students can be suspended for up to 180 days.
School administrators would also have to create an education plan for suspended students during their time out of the classroom under the bill.
The bill would also prohibit suspending students for tardiness, unexcused absences, leaving school without permission, dress code violations, lack of school ID and “willful disobedience” — which it defines as disruptive, insubordinate or rowdy behavior.
At the rally Monday, Ramos said she was concerned about current school disciplinary actions.
“I’m very concerned about the way we are quote-unquote correcting behavior in schools,” she said.
“It is not fair that our students are continuously penalized for perhaps learning in different ways.”
During the 2016-2017 school year, black students in New York public schools outside of the New York City were suspended at four times the rate of their white peers — and in the City, black public school students were suspended at five times the rates of their white peers, according to a report by the New York Equity Coalition.
Students with disabilities are also over-represented in statewide school suspensions. While students with disabilities represent 18.7 percent of all students, they account for 38.6 percent of all suspensions, according to a report published by the Alliance for Quality Education.
Supporters of the bill also point to research that suggests suspensions and expulsions are ineffective and can have long-term impacts on students’ academic success.
One suspension in high school has been linked to students being twice as likely to drop out of school, according to statistics cited by the sponsors of the bill.
Senator @jessicaramos supports legislation that end the School-to-Prison Pipeline #SolutionsNotSuspensions #SchoolGirlsDeserve #YouthJusticeNY pic.twitter.com/t8IeZhuTFd
— Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) (@GGENYC) January 27, 2020
The issue is the other students who lose out because of those who seek attention they are not being elsewhere. The one vs. the other 29 students. Get real!!
A group of concerned parents need to get together and file suit, using the ACLU, against Ramos and her dangerous and “troubled” suspended student body. She is aiding and abetting these “troubled” students in their attempt to deny and literally steal an education from the other law abiding students and American citizens in the NYC Public school system.
Give back the bad kids to their parents, Let the parents deal with them , it’s their responsibility.
This bill is a monument to mediocrity. I feel sorry for the teachers that have to deal with rowdy students and will have their hands tied. It happens now with our police.
I urge Ms. Ramos to PLEASE step into the classroom at a school that has high suspension rates for a week and see what methods of “correcting behavior” she’d recommend.
There needs to be consequences for bad behavior. Students are given work when they are suspended. There is a lack of understanding as to what goes on in school system
unless you have walked the talk!
Another attempt to transfer the responsibility for raising children from families to the state. When will the politicians and parents learn that no one will care for children more than their family. It takes a lot of effort to raise a child and public school system won’t do it for you.
Where have you been? All these parents with suspension prone kids have these kids for a reason. THEY GET PAID NOT TO CARE!!! From the free breakfast and lunch to the free uniforms to the free transit cards. Now we have GoFundMe!
I’ve seen parents push their kids into busy streets so they can get hit by cars and the parents then get double whammy with suing the driver AND the ridiculous GoFundMe campaign!
@They don’t care for them either- You’ve seen people push their child into busy streets so they could get hit bar cars? Enlighten us regarding all these crimes you witnessed.?Did you report these crimes,? Did you assist the children who were victims in these crimes? How many of these crimes did you witness?
Jessica Ramos should rally for safer schools for both teachers & students. She should get more funding for supplies for the school. Keep the bad apples out of the schools.
No need to have disruptive / disrespectful kids in school. Give them back to their parents & have them deal with their own kids .Leave the rest of the students alone.
I teach in a DOE school and short of actual violence or bringing weapons or drugs to school, there isn’t much that will get you suspended these days. Even minor fights don’t result in suspensions in most cases. So, it’s hard to see what this changes.
Treating disruptive students with kid gloves at the expense of all the others trying to learn in a high quality and safe environment is not fair. No one wins, and our schools will deteriorate. What about the right to an excellent education? NYC public school teachers should not be overburdened with discipline issues. Others, such as social workers and guidance counselors should deal with those on the school to prison pipeline.
Aren’t these students being suspended in schools that are majority “minority”? Students who are suspended should definitely have a curriculum during the suspension.
Students want to learn and enjoy contributing appropriately to class. Chronic suspended children are not students. They are there to be noticed, not to learn it do their jobs as students.
You failed to provide a “word” to replace the word student.
“ Willful disobedience” — which it defines as disruptive, insubordinate or rowdy behavior. This is also theft of education of the other students in the class.,Obviously Ramos believes people who can’t meet the standard and are willing to rob citizens who do manage to meet the standard, just need the standards removed.