The Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board Policy Committee tonight is expected to approve creation of a committee to develop a new student behavior policy for the schools.

The action follows concern about an increase in student suspensions and concerns about whether discipline issues are being handled equitably.

An administration report presents policy documents for review by the policy committee including current student discipline policies, suspension and expulsion procedures, and information related to Illinois Public Act 99-456, also known as Senate Bill 100, which made changes to student discipline policies statewide in 2015.

The administration recommends establishment of a committee to review the current policies and related materials and “develop a new student behavior policy that reflects our current thinking and incorporating our racial equity work and restorative practices.”

The committee will consist of principals and teachers from elementary and middle schools, a social worker, a parent, the assistant superintendent of schools (Andalib Khelghati) and special services (Joyce Bartz) and board member liaisons.

It is scheduled to report on the work in the fall, with subsequent development of a comprehensive discipline policy for the district.

The policy committee meeting will be held at Hill Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave., at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Update 5/2/18:

The board’s policy committee approved setting up the task force.

Board members directed the administration to engage school climate teams, a broad representation of parents, staff members and even students who have been suspended, both those who believe they were rightfully disciplined and those who thought they received an out-of-school suspension unfairly.

The administration will present progress on the development of the new student behavior policy in the fall.

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1 Comment

  1. Behavior
    I have read a few of these stories over the past few weeks and I don’t recall seeing any facts that say yes there are clear documented cases in which 1 student received a harsher punishment over another student of a different race for the exact same behavior. If that is the case yes this is an issue. If not, behavior is behavior so why all the hoopla and focus just because one race happens to get in more trouble than another. Again, if there is clear documentation of bias in handing out suspensions then a conversation is needed, otherwise just another story about racial equity that has nothing to really do with racial equity.

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