State Legislator Wants to Reduce Suspension/Expulsion Rate

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Some 17,000 Ohio students under the age of 8 were suspended or expelled from school last year.  One state legislator wants to significantly reduce that number by banning the practice for students third grade and younger. 

State Senator Peggy Lehner, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, says providing more training for teachers can help them better deal with disruptive children.

"I’ve sat in classrooms where teachers have been trained in positive behavior management and it makes a world of difference," says Lehner.  "A well-trained teacher knows how to de-escalate a student."

She says African-American kids are disproportionately disciplined and that has long-term effects on their academic performance and likelihood of truancy in the future.  Lehner says under her proposal, teachers would still have discretion to remove students who pose a significant threat to others. 

Lehner spoke on 90.3’s the Sound of Ideas.

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