Local school systems must work to reduce the number of long-term cases where students are out of classrooms or expelled from school under new regulations adopted Tuesday by the Maryland Board of Education.
The new rules are designed to keep students in school, end racial disparities in suspensions and seek more constructive punishment, reports Fox Baltimore TV.
Long-term out-of-school suspensions and expulsions would only be used when a student poses an imminent threat of serious harm or is engaged in chronic or extreme disruptive behavior, according to the new rules. Local school boards must revise their policies by the beginning of the next school year to reflect the changes, Fox says.
Districts can take their own approaches, says WJLA.com, but the state will monitor the affect policies have on minorities and special education students. State officials have encouraged districts to abandon zero-tolerance policies and instead evaluate discipline on a case-by-case basis.