New York State Senator Jessica Ramos says that school suspensions “criminalize” children and should themselves be suspended (“This year, suspend suspensions: New York needs a radically different approach to school discipline,” New York Daily News, Sept. 8). She argues that they “traumatize families.”
I wonder if Ramos would change her mind if she spent a week in some of the worst schools in the state. I say that because disruptive students deprive students who want to learn of the opportunity to do so. Yet she says not a word about their rights. All Ramos cares about is the alleged harm suspensions cause.
I’m aware that restorative justice can sometimes be effective in correcting unwanted behavior. But the evidence is mixed since that approach has been adopted. In the final analysis, we cannot allow a handful of students to hold other students hostage in order to spare miscreants the punishment they deserve.
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