CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Should a kindergartner be suspended?
That’s the question Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board of Education met to discuss on Wednesday.
Board member Erika Stewart started investigating the suspension records and found that 1,200 students were suspended in one year.
Not only did she see a red flag with the suspension of a 4-year-old, but she also saw a high number of suspension in students of color and students with special needs.
“When you look at the disproportional of suspension for students of color and you really look at where it begins you begin to see that they are suspended earlier and with severe consequences,” Stewart said.
School officials told FOX 46 Charlotte that once a student is suspended they are three times as likely to get suspended again. The Board is looking for a new way to intervene that does not remove students from class.
“I think we are all clear that if a student is suspended and that’s all that we do, we haven’t really changed what caused the student to do that particular thing that caused the suspension,” Superintendent Ann Clark said.
California has already place a state-wide ban of suspending students under third grade. Seattle has eliminated suspensions for students under fifth grade. The CMS Board says they need more time to review data but hope to implement a new suspension policy for the 2017-2018 school year.