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A community meeting in Harlem in February

A community meeting in Harlem in February

Alex Zimmerman/Chalkbeat

These 5 hearings are your chance to weigh in on proposed changes to NYC’s student discipline code

In the final days of the school year, top city officials proposed changes to the city’s discipline code that would curb suspensions longer than 20 days and encourage more schools to use restorative justice practices.

Now, members of the public will have a chance to weigh in at five hearings, one in each borough, staggered through mid-July.

Under the proposal, suspensions longer than 20 days would be reserved for only the most violent conduct or in situations required by law, officials said. Students who are suspended longer than five days — and up to 180 — are typically removed from school and sent to suspension centers scattered throughout the city.

[Related: It’s basically jail’: Inside NYC’s suspension centers, where there’s bullying, boredom — and sometimes support]

Sending students to suspension centers “is a disruption to instructional continuity when students are required to attend a different location than their regular school,” officials wrote in a document explaining the proposal. “Research does not demonstrate that there is a strong relationship between the length of a suspension and subsequent positive change in behavior.” This year, officials quietly began reducing the length of student suspensions without a formal change to the discipline code. 

Despite repeated requests, education department officials have not yet released the line-by-line changes to the discipline code they’re proposing. Education department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said full text of the changes would be available by the first hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Here is the full slate of public hearings:

  • Brooklyn: Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. Boys and Girls Campus, 1700 Fulton Street
  • Queens: Monday, July 1, 6 p.m. at P.S./M.S. 138, 251-11 Weller Avenue
  • Manhattan: Tuesday, July 2, 6 p.m. at Frederick Douglass Academy, 2581 7th Avenue
  • Staten Island: Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m. at I.S. 27/Anning S. Prall, 11 Clove Lake Place
  • Bronx: Wednesday, July 17, 6 p.m. at Taft Campus, 240 E 172nd Street