Rhee Takes Broom to Student Discipline Policy - NBC4 Washington

Rhee Takes Broom to Student Discipline Policy

Chancellor to hold community meetings



    Rhee Takes Broom to Student Discipline Policy
    Robyn Twomey/TIME
    Michelle Rhee wants to use her broom on school discipline policies.

    WASHINGTON -- D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss possible changes to student discipline policies.

    The proposed revisions call for more suspensions to be served at school, so students won't miss class work. Rhee considers out-of-school suspensions to be ineffective. 

    Rhee said the current disciplinary code is used largely as a tool to remove disruptive students from classrooms -- especially for minor infractions -- which doesn't let students learn from their mistakes. She said that as suspensions add up, students fall further behind in class, become truant and ultimately drop out.  Rhee said students in that situation often extend the bad behavior into the community.

    In a letter to parents, Rhee outlined the general plan for changing the discipline policy.

    "For children to be successful, we must offer them safe and effective learning environments. It should be clear to all students that we respect them and have high expectations for what they can accomplish. Our clear and high expectations must be reflected in our student discipline policy, and the policy must be enforced consistently. The revisions we are proposing emphasize three important things:

    • Progressive student discipline: disciplinary actions must be just and appropriate to students’ infractions.
    • Keeping students in school: disciplinary actions must minimize disruption to instruction.
    • Instructional-based discipline: disciplinary actions must be used not simply to punish, but to instruct through consequences that allow students to learn and prevent future occurrences."

    For a complete look at the changes being proposed, click here.

    Rhee's first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Hart Middle School. Two others are scheduled for later this month.

    Forum Dates

    Thursday, January 8, 2009
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Hart Middle School
    601 Mississippi Ave SE
    Washington, DC 20032

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Columbia Heights Education Campus
    3101 16th St NW
    Washington, DC 20010

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Sousa Middle School
    3650 Ely Pl SE
    Washington, DC 20019