The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana recently released one of the first reports to examine New Orleans-specific data on out-of-school suspensions. It's called Suspensions Matter: 2011-2012 Year in Review.
The report, according to Jolon McNeil of the JJPL, finds charter schools across New Orleans generally have lower suspension rates than direct-run schools, where the suspension rates are rising. In some New Orleans schools, one out of every two students has missed school due to a suspension. The report also finds zero tolerance school discipline policies do more harm than good.
McNeil says the report suggests alternatives to suspensions, including programs which teach pro-social behavior and reward it. The project is part of Schools First, a JJPL program that addresses the educational policies that funnel children into the juvenile justice system.
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