Students March to Change “Zero Tolerance” Policies in MI
A group of students, who set out on foot on Monday from Detroit, is making its way to Lansing today to fight unncessary school suspensions and expulsions.
They're hoping to draw attention to what they say is a devastating effect of "Zero Tolerance" polices in Michigan schools.
The students point to recent surveys that show nearly 1,700 students were suspended or expelled from schools last year alone. The majority of the actions were taken against children guilty of non-serious offenses.
They want more a more flexibile, common-sense approach to discipline in state schools.
Appearing on 1240 WJIM's Steve Gruber Show with Jo Anne Paul, Michael Flanagan, Superintendent of Schools in Michigan, agreed that changes need to be made.
Under the currrent policy, there have been cases of children in Michigan and in other states that have been expelled from school or even taken out of the classroom in handcuffs for offenses as small as drawing on a desk or hugging another student. Changes could include districts having a number of options for discipline less than suspension or expulsion.
The students say the loss of education often times set them back in instruction time when they're struggling already just to keep up. The believe the policy leads to more and more students dropping out of school or ending up on the wrong side of the law.
Join Jo Anne Paul and Steve Gruber weekdays from 5:30 to 9 AM on 1240 WJIM-AM and the Stations of the Michigan Talk Network. Join the discussion by calling our hotline at (888) 900-9966!