More interventions in CMS to help cut down on suspension rate - | WBTV Charlotte

More interventions in CMS to help cut down on suspension rate


This school year the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district (CMS) has decided to give students more chances to behave before suspending them. The district wants to give students more interventions.

The student code of conduct now states "OSS (Out of School Suspensions) should be used as a consequence only where other documented options have not been effective ..." The district does not believe students will take advantage of this new rule.

"I think that students," CMS Executive Dir. of Student Discipline Lisa Barnes said. "Will see that we are trying to get to the root cause of the incident to support what they need in order for them to stay in school and be successful."

This rule will ensure there is equity across the school district when it comes to discipline. There is a concern there is an imbalance when it comes to African American students getting suspended in CMS. During the 2012-13 school year there were nearly 36,000 suspensions in CMS - Nearly 26,000 were black students. Parents and administrators wanted the district to address this issue. School leaders say this change in the rules might help with the disparity.

Now before students can get suspended, they must go through parental involvement, conferences, time out, peer mediation, anger management, suspension from bus privileges, exclusion from extra curricular activities and other interventions. There will be a system in place to make sure principals are following the new rule.

"That's why we have community superintendents," Barnes said. "Within the learning communities. They will work the principals to make sure they are following the code of conduct."

Other changes to the code of student conduct deal with bullying, attendance, gang activity, insubordination, aggressive physical behavior, firearms, sexual behavior, and drugs.

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