The punishment of out-of-school suspensions always confused me. If the point of schools is to prepare students for the future, why would you punish them by letting them stay at home? Especially if school is a safe-haven for them during the day. This is a fundamental part of the school-to-prison pipeline that’s often overlooked. Fortunately, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 674 into law and helped fix this major oversight in the education system.
The Root reports that the law bans schools from giving students between pre-kindergarten and second grade out-of-school suspensions for an infractions outside of instances where drugs, weapons, or extreme violence are involved.
“I’m very pleased that Governor Abbott signed the bill, as opposed to allowing it to become law without his signature,” said Representative Eric Johnson.
“I take this to mean that the Governor shares my view that the school to prison pipeline is real and that our early childhood educators are our first line of defense against it,” he added.
Johnson cited many pieces of supporting evidence that prove taking students out of schools, especially at a young age, makes them much more likely to perform poorly, drop out and even face incarceration later in their lives. It also places an extra inconvenience on families who have to find ways to care for the suspended children who would otherwise be at school during the day.
Hopefully, this practice picks up and becomes recognized throughout all education systems in the country.