Schools in U.S. Find Alternatives to Suspension

The recent arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim boy whose teacher mistook a clock he made for a possible bomb has led to many districts softening their approach to school discipline.

Ahmed Mohamed got an invitation to the White House after the incident, but it also earned him a three-day suspension.

The case garnered national attention, so much to the point where school officials have started forgoing automatic suspensions, expulsions and calls to the police for one-on-one counseling and less severe forms of punishment.

“When we can’t tell the difference between a serious problem and a non-serious problem with a kid in school, the problem is not the kid: It is us,” said Michael Gilbert, who heads the San Antonio-based National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, which advocates a focus on dialogue instead of punishments.

School districts in New York, Los Angeles and Denver are just some of those that have moved away from discipline policies that relied heavily on suspensions. State governments have also been taking action.

This year, Connecticut limited out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students up through the second grade, Texas decriminalized truancy and Oregon limited when suspensions and expulsions can be applied to students up through the fifth grade.

Read more at Associated Press.