Minneapolis limits suspensions of young students

Empty Classroom

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis public schools superintendent is limiting the suspension of students in prekindergarten through first grade.

The Star Tribune reports (http://strib.mn/1o4Sqh3 ) the change is intended to keep kids in class and ensure that teachers discipline students in school. Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson told principals and teachers Thursday that the young students cannot be suspended for nonviolent behavior.

The change comes as the U.S. Department of Education investigates Minneapolis schools over potentially inconsistent suspension practices.

Critics say that data show teachers tend to target children of color or with mental health problems.

St. Paul school district officials have given principals financial incentives to decrease suspensions. The initiative has led to a large reduction, but parents and teachers say student behavior has gotten worse.

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