New Ill. Student Discipline Law Softens Punishments
The new law is designed to help students stay in school and graduate high school.
A bill signed into law August 24 reforms student discipline procedures in Illinois to improve the way schools handle troubled students.
The law, which garnered bipartisan support, is designed to ensure schools do everything they can to avoid expelling or suspending students, according to the Huffington Post.
The reforms are likely a response to the unequal disciplinary rates between white students and minorities. The Office of Civil Rights recently reported that Chicago Public Schools suspended 32 of every 100 black students in the system while just five of every 100 white students were suspended.
When the law goes into effect at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year “zero tolerance policies” and fines for misbehavior will be eliminated. The law also requires schools to talk with parents about student disciplinary measures, allow students to make up work they missed during suspensions and provide academic and psychiatric counseling to students suspended more than four days.
The law will apply to public and charter schools.
Many human rights groups, including Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, lobbied in support of the legislation.
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