Question: In lieu of suspensions for severe misbehavior, we offer what? A talking/healing circle?
What if the bully doesn't want to talk or let the victims heal?
We know suspension doesn't work for that ONE student who gets sent home. But does it help the other 35 who remain in school?
Who is fighting for the rights of the 35?
I think I might be the only social justice educator in favor of lifting the suspension ban.
Not for little things like talking back (I applaud it when it is thought provoking and reasoned.)
But for, I don't know, assault? Vandalism? Sexual and profane language?
When the powers that be tie our hands and do not allow the professionals who actually work at the school the authority to make these calls, the misbehaving students see a green light to go on a rampage. It's been happening since suspensions were banned. No, it is not just for willful defiance...a ban has sent a chill down administrator's backs for fear of attracting downtown's attention. So it includes virtually all causes.
If we cannot provide the type of resources needed to support the needs of challenging students, then we are literally handicapping our students from being productive members of society when they become adults by banning suspensions. And we are robbing the other 35 students of the full attention of the teacher.
There has got to be a better way.