Stop Hurting Young School Children’s Chances of Success

Target: Jared Polis, Colorado State Governor

Goal: Limit school measures that are potentially harmful to young students.

Colorado lawmakers approve a bill that would limit suspensions and expulsions of young children. The legislation would cut down on the reasons students attending preschool through second grade can be given out-of school suspensions and expulsions, allowing them only when children bring weapons or drugs to school, or if they pose a health or safety threat. The out-of-school suspensions would be reduced to three days unless a district administrator believes more time is necessary when dealing with a safety threat.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado schools handed out 5,800 suspensions to students in kindergarten through second grade in 2018. While concerns have been raised over the bill, research shows students who are expelled are at a greater risk of engaging in criminal and anti-social behaviour, or consuming drugs in the future. On a similar note, excluded young people also have smaller chances of a stable, content and productive adult life.

The bill recently received initial approval in the state Senate and will head to the governor’s desk after an upcoming final vote. Sign below and demand that students be given the chance to learn from mistakes and grow as individuals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Gorvernor Polis,

A bill that would reduce the suspension and expulsion of young children was proposed. In most cases, sending kids home from school for acting out does not come in handy when trying to teach them appropriate behavior. In several instances, it increases the likelihood they’ll be suspended again, and disproportionately affects boys, children of color, and students with disabilities.

Children’s behaviour can be addressed through more productive means. Additional support for teachers, in the form of trainings, and the inclusion of school-based psychologists, counselors, and social workers would be a good step. The children of Colorado need to feel welcomed at school and this bill would do just that. I urge you to show your support for the children of Colorado by backing HB 19-1194.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Piron Guillaume




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