Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Poll: Are Kindergartener Suspensions Helpful or Hurtful?

By Jenni Pompi

Dozens of the area's littlest learners were sent home from school early or outright suspended for misbehavior last year, reported The Washington Post.

According to The Washington Post, more than 2,000 students were suspended from Prince George's County public elementary schools, including 94 children enrolled in kindergarten or pre-kindergarten.

A. Duane Arbogast, chief academic officer for Prince George's County schools, said that the 94 students represent about 1 percent of the students enrolled, and that he does not find such a small number surprising.

Some parents and critics question the effectiveness of suspending children at such a young age, with studies showing that the suspensions do not improve behavior. Such behavior can actually be a sign of academic gaps, Sara Rimm-Kaufman, associate professor of education at University of Virginia, told the Post.

Still others feel that a disruptive or aggressive child should be removed from the classroom no matter his or her age, particularly when there is physical violence involved and teachers and administrators feel they have explored every other option.

The Maryland State Board of Education is currently considering proposals to eliminate suspensions for non-violent behaviors. Arbogast said that suspensions are only one of the tools used by local educators and that they should be issued strategically.

Read the full article on the Washington Post and tell us in the comments what you think about local elementary schools suspending pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

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