You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Senate approves bill to ban suspension of Texas’ youngest students


The Texas Senate passed a bill Wednesday, 17-13, that would bar school officials from suspending students in third grade and lower.

Senate Bill 370, by state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, makes some exceptions for violent behavior, bringing a weapon onto school property or dealing drugs or alcohol.

The House passed a similar bill last week.

“It’s hard for me to even imagine what a little child that age would do to merit an expulsion,” Garcia said. “For tender ages like this, we ought to let kids be kids.”

Garcia said that suspensions disproportionately affect black and Latino boys and students with special needs. Such students are more likely to then fall behind and dislike school, possibly leading them down paths toward academic failure and serving time in prison, she said.

Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who voted against the bill, said he’s not aware of the school districts in his area suspending their youngest students. He said he fears that creating a blanket policy would have unintended consequences.

“It’s too overreaching. I think it goes too far. I think that we continue to undermine the disciplinary actions that used to be available to school districts,” Perry said.

Some large urban school boards, including the Austin, Houston and Dallas school districts, have passed policies to prohibit the suspension of young students. In February, the Austin school board approved a policy to ban suspensions, expulsions or alternative disciplinary programs for students in prekindergarten through second grade.

Hundreds of students in those grades are suspended from Austin schools every year. While numbers have been decreasing, black, Latino and special education students are suspended in disproportionate numbers, the American-Statesman has reported. Of the 351 prekindergarten- through second-grade students suspended last year, 85 percent were black or Latino. Some offenses include using rude language and leaving without permission.

The bill encourages school districts to adopt “positive behavioral intervention and support” models that can be used in the classroom as alternatives to suspension. Garcia said such a model encourages teachers to tell students what to do instead of telling them what not to do.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

California woman finds frog in her salad
California woman finds frog in her salad

A California woman found an unpleasant addition to her salad earlier this month, as she uncovered a dead frog nestled inside the lettuce. >> Read more trending news  Shawna Cepeda was dining at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in West Covina and noticed her salad had a bitter taste, according to a Yelp review she posted on June 13...
Rain, cooler temperatures to continue Sunday
Rain, cooler temperatures to continue Sunday

Keep those umbrellas handy, Austin. Sunday’s forecast calls for more sporadic showers, cloudy skies and possible thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will remain cool with a high of 87 and a low tonight of 71. TRAFFIC UPDATES: Use our interactive map to track delays as the commute unfolds The wet weather is expected...
Emails chart how ‘Mad Men’ archive landed at UT’s Ransom Center
Emails chart how ‘Mad Men’ archive landed at UT’s Ransom Center

An archive of props, clothing, scripts and abandoned story lines from a TV series might not seem at first blush to embody the literary, cultural or artistic significance of the Gutenberg Bible, Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” or any number of other holdings at the University of Texas’ Harry...
Barton Creek bike bridge built, but few coming so far
Barton Creek bike bridge built, but few coming so far

I tweeted out just after sunrise Friday that I was hanging out at the new Barton Creek bike bridge in Southwest Austin to see how many cyclists and others might be using the $14.5 million edifice. I noted that in the half-hour or so I was there, I had seen one commuting cyclist cross the 1,045-foot span over the creek gorge. Not surprisingly, the qualifiers...
Traffic report for June 26, 2017

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The outside lane on the southbound access road will be closed between Parmer Lane and Rundberg Lane from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights; locations will change nightly, and Exits 245 through 241 will be closed as needed. Multiple southbound lane closures between Colonial Park Boulevard and Boggy Creek from...
More Stories