On Discipline Students Seek More Middle Ground

Although the public school discipline code lists a menu of possible guidance interventions — such as parent outreach, counseling or conflict resolution — none is required prior to suspension. Advocates and students told education officials Thursday night that the city needed to change its approach to discipline in the schools. 

"It's time for D.O.E. to move away from viewing positive discipline as an experiment, and commit to making it part of students' everyday life," said Samantha Pownall, an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union.

She spoke at the public hearing to review the discipline code for the 2013-2014 school year, an annual process required by state law. Department of Education officials said they would first listen to the comments and written testimony before deciding later this summer whether to require guidance interventions.