Richmond Times-Dispatch

RPS conduct code changes could trim suspension­s

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

There has been an ongoing dispute on how to properly discipline students attending Richmond Public Schools (RPS). In recent years, RPS has given out suspension­s, some for as long as 45 days, which prompted the school board to look into their policies. A recent news story by RTD reporter Kenya Hunter highlighte­d the need for new policies because

students are being punished before they learn from their mistakes.

Recent reports show RPS gives out more long-term suspension­s than the combined totals from the neighborin­g counties of Chesterfie­ld, Hanover and Henrico. A friend of mine who attends Thomas Jefferson High School recently was suspended for three days due to instigatin­g a class disruption between two other students. After receiving his suspension, he sat at home, not learning from his mistakes. Students should be able to learn from their mistakes and not be punished right away.

Richmond school officials, according to the RTD, adopted changes to the Student Code of Conduct that they hope will be “less geared toward punishment and more toward restorativ­e measures, reducing the number of suspension­s and missed classroom time.”

With new policies put into place, RPS aims its students more toward correcting any ill behaviors. It is important to correct these behaviors at a young age in order to prevent children from having more drastic outbursts later in life. Therefore, RPS needs to look at their policies and ensure behavior issues will be corrected rather than immediatel­y punished. Shouldn’t children be allowed to learn from their mistakes?

KAILA HEWITT.

NORTH CHESTERFIE­LD.

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