Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced new hopes for the district’s suspension policy.

At Tuesday’s press conference, officials placed a high emphasis on student discipline, shying away from the “suspend a student first” narrative echoed throughout many schools in the country.

From WBEZ: 

…Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett encouraged schools to try policies that turn troublemakers into student leaders, and move away from zero-tolerance policies, especially ones that keep kids out of school.

“There is still suspension here, they still use it, but it’s a last resort,” said Emanuel. “It happens so much less frequently, which also results in more kids on track to graduate and go on to higher education.”

Byrd-Bennett said zero-tolerance policies in CPS and nationwide “have done more harm than good.  When students are removed from the classroom for even a relatively minor disciplinary infraction, they miss valuable, valuable instructional time.”

Read more at WBEZ

The endorsement comes at the heels of constant debate about the effects of zero-tolerance policies, particularly on male students of color.

A recent study led by Michigan State University Assistant Professor of Education Muhammad Khalifa found that students who identified with hip-hop culture were often removed from school and faster rates.

Thoughts on the announcement?

Should all schools just say no to zero-tolerance policies?

Sound off below!