Change in DPS suspension policy means fewer kids will be removed from classrooms

DENVER -- When Denver Public Schools changed their policy to keep kids in 3rd grade and under from being suspended or expelled from school, a lot of people were shocked to learn those types of punishments were even options for kids that age.

“I think a lot of times people are surprised and communities across the nation are surprised that children as young as three years old are sometimes removed from instruction,” Dr. Eldridge Greer, the associate chief of student equity and opportunity for Denver Public Schools told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged.

“We really know that especially for this population of kids, when we’re building literacy that’s going to be a foundation throughout their high school and college careers to have kids removed from instruction is really counter to what we’re trying to do in public education,” Greer said.

One concern about the new policy is that it could leave dangerous students in the classroom. Greer says that while some teachers have expressed concerns, most are supportive of the new policy.

“I think our teachers as we’ve really listened over the last several months have been really positive about we want to ensure that we can teach as many kids as possible and keep as many kids on track,” Greer added. “That kid that is not prepared for school and is engaging in behavior that is violent or aggressive, our teachers have been very clear that we need more resources and support so we can better meet the needs of that small population of our kids.”

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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