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New York City Politician Wants to Re-Implement School Suspensions for Children as Young as Five Years Old

Earlier this month, one mayoral candidate told reporters that she hopes to tighten school rules and regulations, resulting in administrators’ ability to more easily suspend students as young as five years old. According to the report, the lawmaker stated that the focus of suspensions should not be on students who acted “nasty or disrespectful to another student” but those who were “disruptive to the classroom and learning environment.”

The proposed plan is a big step back from Mayor DeBlasio’s announcement earlier this year that the administration would eschew suspension proceedings for children in second grade and below. Prior to that decision, there were over 800 suspensions for children in second grade and below in the 2016 school year. In the school year before that, almost 1,500 children of the same age group were suspended.

New York City School Suspensions

School suspensions are serious. Indeed, New York City school suspensions can have a major detrimental effect on a student’s ability to learn, socialize, and participate in productive school programs. Suspensions can also have a negative impact on a student’s ability to get into college. In addition, repeated school suspensions come with an attached stigma that a student is a “bad kid,” potentially resulting in exacerbation of negative behaviors.

Due to the serious nature of school suspensions, New York City regulations require that all suspensions comport with a lengthy list of rules and regulations. For example, a school principal can only suspend a student for five school days. During this period of time, the suspended student must be permitted to complete all assignments and take any tests. Additionally, there must be a conference scheduled with five days of the suspension at which the validity of the suspension will be determined. In order to sustain a suspension, an administrator must present documentation of why the student is being suspended.

For longer suspensions, or suspensions of children who have an individualized education plan (IEP), there are additional requirements that school administration must follow. For longer suspensions, the student must be placed at another educational facility that can accommodate that student’s learning needs. If school administration fails to follow the appropriate rules and regulations governing that specific type of suspension, the suspension must be reversed and the student reinstated.

Has Your Student Been Suspended?

Having a child be suspended from school is certainly upsetting and may have very serious consequences for your child’s future. If your son or daughter has recently been suspended for conduct that you believe did not warrant suspension, or you believe that the school administrators did not follow the necessary procedural requirements, it may be that your child can be reinstated and the suspension vacated. At the Law Offices of Ira S. Newman, we make sure that school administrators are held to the high burden the law places on them. To learn more about New York education law, call 800-206-7375 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who can help you understand the options you and your child have.

See Additional Blog Posts:

New York Employers Will Soon Be Required to Provide Paid Family Leave, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, October 16, 2017.

New York City Landlord Busted for Housing Discrimination, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, October 25, 2017.