Florida schools are suspending fewer students.
According to Florida Department of Education data, Florida K-12 school suspensions are at a three-year low. During the 2011-2012 school year, more than 425,600 students were suspended. That dropped to fewer than 371,500 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
If students are suspended, they’re out of their classes and aren’t learning, said Sherry Estes, Kanapaha Middle School’s principal. Local schools in Alachua County are working to keep students in the classroom.
“It’s definitely an effort across the state and in Alachua County,” she said.
Per Florida Statute 1006.07, the district also creates parameters for student suspension and expulsion.Local school districts are responsible for their student conduct codes, wrote Florida Department of Education spokesperson Alix Miller in an email.
Estes said districts and individual schools are implementing positive-behavior support systems, which are cutting the suspension rates.
Rather than solely giving negative consequences when students break the rules, schools will recognize student’s positive actions.
“The idea is to focus on the behaviors you want to see in a positive light,” she said.
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