CLC Supports The Student Fair Access to School Act

The legislation passed its final DC Council vote on Tuesday, May 1! You can now support DC kids’ right to education by urging Mayor Muriel Bowser to support The Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017.

At Children’s Law Center, we advocate for kids who are disproportionately impacted by school suspensions and expulsions every day—children of color, children with disabilities and children in foster care. We regularly serve kids who are sent home from school instead of receiving the educational supports they need to stay in the classroom and continue learning.

Students who aren’t in school miss critical learning time and are more likely to fall behind and get poor grades, often leaving them frustrated or embarrassed. In turn, these negative feelings can lead to more misbehavior, even causing students to drop out.

This ineffective form of punishment fosters a destructive cycle: acting out -> suspension -> falling behind in classes and feeling frustrated because of it -> more problems with behavior -> suspension. This harmful cycle doesn’t address the root cause of the child’s problem in school. Suspensions are a short-term band aid that lead to long-term failure for the child, the teacher and eventually our society as a whole.

Suspensions lead to higher dropout rates, increased crime, joblessness and more. Each time we fail a student in DC, it impacts each citizen of the District. These kids have a right to be in school and learning. It is our collective responsibility to make sure they are.

When more students are suspended, studies show ALL students’ academic achievement suffers.

That’s why at Children’s Law Center, we’re working closely together with the Every Student Every Day Coalition to support the Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017. Every DC child has a right to an equal education. This legislation helps eliminate biases in school discipline and will help ensure all students have access to the supports they need to stay engaged and learning.

About the Every Student Every Day Coalition

The Every Student Every Day Coalition is a team of advocacy organizations, researchers, service providers, and individuals engaged in a variety of issue areas, including education, juvenile justice, child welfare, youth empowerment, special education, and civil rights.

Learn more by visiting www.dcly.org/every_student_every_day_coalition.

Media Coverage

https://www.childrenslawcenter.org/article/wamu-schools-try-new-ways-address-discipline-dc-council-considers-banning-suspensions

https://www.childrenslawcenter.org/article/washington-post-dc-officials-move-closer-overhauling-school-discipline-policy

Resources

Learn more about DC kids who have been impacted by unfair discipline practices.

Learn more about the legislation here: http://www.davidgrosso.org/grosso-analysis/2017/11/21/student-fair-access-to-school-act-of-2017

Read some of our testimonies here: https://www.childrenslawcenter.org/resource/student-fair-access-school-testimonies

Read our fact sheets about the bill, about school exclusion and about how suspensions impact students of color.