Read Kent Withycombe's Testimony Before the DC Council Regarding the Student Fair Access to School Act and the DCPS Alternatives to Suspensions Amendment Act

On January 30, the Committee’s Education Justice Project Director, Kent Withycombe, testified in support of the DC Council’s proposed Student Fair Access to Schools Act and the DCPS Alternatives to Suspension Amendment Act. Many studies demonstrate that “old school” suspension and expulsion practices negatively and disproportionately affect students of color, students experiencing trauma and poverty, and students with greater challenges such as language and learning differences. With the valuable research and writing assistance of senior associate Osvaldo Vazquez from Steptoe & Johnson LLP, the Committee also submitted written testimony supporting the direction the bills are going in reducing the use of suspensions, employing restorative justice practices, increasing trauma-informed training for school personnel, and making the DC charter school sector play by the same disciplinary rules as DCPS. The Committee believes the DC Council can do more on each of those critical fronts and used many examples of what other school districts are doing.

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