Anne Arundel Board of Education Adopts New Suspensions Policy

Richard Benfer, President of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County. Photo courtesy of the Maryland State Education Association.

As reported by The Capital Gazettethe Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Wednesday approved a new policy for student suspensions and expulsions that focuses on rewarding positive behavior instead of punishing negative behavior.  The Gazette describes,

The policy is designed to keep kids in the classroom, and focuses on fostering, teaching and acknowledging favorable behavior, school officials say.

But it’s hard getting through a lesson plan with a disruptive student in the room, and the shift will mean that such students spend more time in the classroom instead of the principal’s office, said Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County President Richard Benfer.

According to John Woolums, Director of Governmental Relations of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, there is also the budgetary concern that more in-school suspensions could increase costs.  New professional development needs and additional in-school educational services and behavioral supports, including hiring additional staff such as counselors, social workers and school psychologists could be associated with the change.

For more information, see the Capital Gazette.  For more information on the statewide shift in suspensions policies, see our previous posts on Conduit Street: Queen Anne’s School Board Adopts New Student Discipline PolicyLocal School Boards React to State’s New School Discipline RegsProposed Student Discipline Regs Draw Local ConcernState Education Board Approves Engagement, Testing, Disciplinary PoliciesState Education Board Considers New Discipline Regulations.