Dallas ISD evaluating suspension ban for certain grades

The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) plans to evaluate a program that will eliminate suspensions for its youngest students.

The proposal from school board member Miguel Solis would ban out-of-school suspensions for children in pre-K through 2nd grade.  Many parents and educators have complained that separating such young kids from their classmates due to disruptive behavior actually encourages acting out.

Dallas ISD parent Adrienne Easter is on the task force that's been assigned to study the plan.  She says her son, Antonio, was suspended from 1st grade more than 15 times in one school year.

"He kept calling himself bad," Easter said, "because he was getting in trouble and suspended for crying and having tantrums.  With him not being at school he wasn't learning, and he wasn't getting the social skills that he needed."

Last year, more than 5,000 Dallas ISD elementary school students were suspended from school.  The district says that cost them $70,000 in lost attendance money from the state and federal governments.