DENVER -- Schools in Denver are looking into the idea of ending suspensions and expulsions for young children and are reaching out to parents. A similar bill is working its way through the state legislature.
Denver Board of Education members unanimously approved Thursday a resolution toward ending the use of suspension and expulsion in early childhood education.
Before the board votes on changing policy, the district will solicit feedback from educators and community members over the next 60 days.
“The message that we are sending to our youngest students and families is that we are starting early and we are starting smart,” said Board Member Rachele Espiritu. “The best place for you to be is in school. And, that’s where we want to see you thriving and being successful.”
Meanwhile, state lawmakers are working on similar legislation that would eliminate the practice statewide.
Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, is sponsoring a bill that would remove the suspension option for students under 8 years of age. However, the bill would allow suspension if a student harms themselves or other children.
The bill would require school districts to adopt prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce the need for early childhood and early elementary grade suspensions and expulsions.