MRH to end suspensions for Pre-K through 3rd grade

Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is one of three St. Louis County districts that say they’ll end out-of-school suspensions for preschool through third-grade students, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The announcement was made Sunday at MRH at an assembly for Break the Pipeline — an effort to break the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Instead of suspensions, the MRH, Normandy and Ladue school districts will use social workers and behavioral health specialists to reduce the need to discipline students.

MRH promised to ban suspensions for the young students in the next school year. Normandy and Ladue promise to ban them by the 2018-2019 school year.

18 thoughts on “MRH to end suspensions for Pre-K through 3rd grade

  1. Some children have not been prepared for school…school behavior and all issues. They usually do not fit in with the other class pupils and so they act out….just as they want to act out. This can be mildly or even with violence. It must be corrected if all the pupils are to be educated. Hopefully this new program idea will assist all the pupils……..and the parents ….and the teachers.

  2. So happy to hear this! I love that our school district is a leader in our area and has progressive ideas that benefit everyone.

  3. I love that they’re using mental health professionals and behavioral health specialists. Nothing’s going to change for these kiddos unless underlying issues /trauma get addressed. If it’s truly a whole team and child centered approach, I say it’s fabulous. MRH certainly has been cutting edge and susseccful thus far so I place my trust in them.

  4. This is great news for all students, but particularly students of color who are disproportionately suspended compared to white students. Keeping our kids in school will help close the achievement gap between students of color and white students, and MRH can be a regional leader in this effort. MRH is a diverse community, and we must lead the way towards racial equity in St. Louis. I am so proud to live in this district!

  5. In-school suspension programs can make a difference–especially with young ones! This actually costs money–a wise investment!

  6. Do you know why they are ending it? Because the school does not get funds for a student when an out of school suspension is involved. It is money, money, money.

    • Really? That is one perspective. But it is the wrong one. As a parent, that is not what the district is about.

  7. As a teacher I can say that disruptive students take the focus away from learning for the rest of the class. Parents need to be more involved and accountable. Kids need to learn what is appropriate and what will not be allowed.
    I am on the fence about this.

    • For students this young, out-of-school suspensions set them up for failure. They do not address the social-emotional needs of young children, and time spent out of class leads to lower academic performance. Often, suspensions serve to perpetuate the behaviors they are designed to correct. Restorative justice practices are much more effective.

    • Just want to add that there are other ways to address disruptive behavior. In fact, these alternative options should be considered first before simply jumping to out of school suspension. In-school-suspension comes to mind as one option that would be beneficial to both the family and the teacher. Thanks for your comment, a community member.

        • Ia m not sure but, it sounds as though they are working on creating structure and supports for these young people. This is something that it appears they might need. Sending them home is really not helping these young people.

  8. Well I for one, am glad to hear this…..I had no idea, we suspended children that young, actually……and glad they are going to end it.

    • I, too, had no idea pre-schoolers?? could be suspended. I’m curious: what has occurred in the past that a 3 or 4-yr-old has been suspended?