Press Release: State Board Adopts New Student Discipline Regulations
Designed To Balance School Safety With Maintaining Student Progress To Graduation
For Immediate Release Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486
Baltimore, MD (January 28, 2014)
The Maryland State Board of Education today adopted new regulations guiding student discipline. The regulations are designed to keep students in school and maintain progress toward graduation, while strengthening school safety.
The regulations require local school systems to adopt policies that reduce long-term out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, and use such actions only when a student poses an imminent threat of serious harm to other students or staff, or when a student is engaged in chronic or extreme disruptive behavior.
In addition, the regulations seek to expedite the student discipline appeal process by allowing local boards of education to hear and decide school discipline appeals with an opportunity to extend that time period in complex cases.
“Safe schools grow out of a positive school climate,” said State Board President Charlene M. Dukes. “Maryland is dedicated to maintaining safety while increasing student achievement. In order for students to achieve success, they must be in school.”
The regulations also seek to eliminate the disproportionate impact of school discipline on students of color and students with disabilities. MSDE will develop a method to analyze local school discipline data to measure the disproportionate impact on minority and special education students.
Local boards of education will be required to update their student discipline polices based on the new regulations by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. The proposed regulations were published in the Maryland Register on December 13.
Today’s vote represents the culmination of more than four years of study by State Board members, a process that has included unprecedented collaboration with educators, local board members, and other stakeholders. The State Board invited dozens of educators and interested organizations to testify and provide input as part of that process. Board members have been concerned by the number and length of student suspensions, the impact that loss of class time has on academic success and the achievement gap, and the effect that suspensions have on certain student subgroups.
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ATTACHMENT: The new regulations