Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is officially changing its Student Code of Conduct so fewer kids get suspended and expelled.
The move comes after a government study concluded that African American and Latino students are being suspended at disproportionate rates.
“It’s [Chicago's] the strictest zero-tolerance policy that I’ve ever seen in the country,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a conference call with reporters on Monday. “We have a broad range of suspendable offenses. For example, we’re the only major school district that allow(s) for out-of-school suspensions for cell phone use.”
A student activist group that has worked for several years to eliminate the zero-tolerance policy called the move a step in the right direction, but argued more work needed to be done to reduce police presence in schools.
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the proposed changes during Wednesday’s monthly meeting.