EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - A new report released Monday shows the number of children, across the state from 2015 to 2016, who were suspended from pre-k to second grade. Simultaneously a law, implemented in September 2017, prohibits out-of-school suspensions for public school students within that age group.
A Hudson ISD school is looking ahead while implementing alternative solutions to keep children in the classroom. At Peavy Primary, Assistant Principal Kelley Phillips showcases the program called social express.
"Kids don't want to be out of the room. And we as teachers we are given tools to teach these children how to behave, just like we would teach math, reading, spelling, writing, we have to teach them how to behave, how to use their words. Their actions have consequences," Horan said.
The non profit group Texans Care for Children said the new law is a major step forward, but school districts and state policymakers still have significant work to do. They're urging legislators to ensure effective strategies are implemented in our schools, and address the ongoing use of in-school suspensions in early grades and other ineffective discipline practices that are still permitted.
Meanwhile, Principal Laura Mikael said their approach to restorative discipline has help bring out transformation not only for the teachers, but the children as well.
"Its been positive and it's been very effective. I was very amazed at how quickly it caught on with our teachers," Mikeal said.
The non-profit group said, while the new law prohibiting out of school suspension is a step forward, school districts, the Texas Education Agency and state legislators have significant work to do in order to reduce in-school suspensions.