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File #: 170408    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COUNCIL - FINAL PASSAGE
File created: 4/27/2017 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Calling on and urging The School District of Philadelphia ("District") to permanently prohibit the suspension of elementary-aged students from the first through fifth grades.
Sponsors: Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 17040800.pdf
Title
Calling on and urging The School District of Philadelphia ("District") to permanently prohibit the suspension of elementary-aged students from the first through fifth grades.

Body
WHEREAS, Despite prohibiting the suspension of kindergarten students, the District continues to suspend students from first through fifth grades at alarming rates. According to Pennsylvania's most recent Safe Schools Report, the District meted out 615 suspensions to kindergarteners; 1,081 to first graders; 1,779 to second graders; 2,192 to third graders; 2,295 to fourth graders; and 2,260 to fifth graders during the 2015-16 school year; and

WHEREAS, The District needs to invest in additional training and resources to support schools as they move away from discriminatory and punitive exclusionary discipline practices, and toward practices that promote positive school climates; and

WHEREAS, Suspensions harm our youngest learners. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania reports that whenever a school suspends a student it increases that child's likelihood of future educational barriers and challenges, including discipline, truancy, and dropout, which feeds the school-to-prison pipeline; and

WHEREAS, Suspensions not only harm the students who are suspended but also the students who remain in the classroom. Research shows that math and reading scores of students who are not being suspended suffer when their fellow classmates are removed from the learning environment; and

WHEREAS, According to the Civil Rights Data Collection ("CRDC") published by the U.S. Department of Education, over 93% of the suspensions the District issued in the 2013-14 school year to first through fifth graders, almost all of whom are ten years of age or younger, were for "conduct" offenses and not weapons offenses. Punishment for subjective conduct offenses have shown to invite racial biases; and

WHEREAS, The District disproportionately suspends African American students. The C...

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