Dallas ISD Switches Stand on School Suspensions

New disciplinary policy will concentrate additional funding for staff training

Dallas ISD approved a measure to change their policy and reduce out-of-school suspensions for pre-kindergarten to second grades.

The district has been working on this for months, and even had a task force look at the issue. The task force included educators, parents and advocates in the district.

A Dallas ISD Board trustee says he wants to see suspension for the districts youngest students as a last resort, and parents of pre-k, first and second graders have urged trustees to step away from harsh punishments.

The recommendation was that the district limit suspensions of pre-kindergarten through second grade students to only the most severe cases, while also boosting teacher training on appropriate discipline.

The new disciplinary policy will also concentrate additional funding for training at the campuses that already have a high level of suspensions and disciplinary issues.

Dallas ISD Board Trustee Miguel Solis says the plan is for every elementary campus to have a proactive discipline plan available online. It’s something the discipline task force recommended — requiring elementary schools to develop behavior management plans and limiting suspensions to serious offenses only.

Houston and El Paso have taken similar steps to limit suspensions of their youngest students.

The goal for Dallas ISD is to eliminate discretionary suspensions for its young students completely by the 2022 – 2023 school year.

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