“Suspended!” How New York Deals with the So-Called “Bad” Kids

New York City’s suspension rates have risen dramatically over the past ten years. According a January 2011 report by the New York Civil Liberties Union, New York’s schools recorded 31,879 suspensions in 2003, while in 2009, there were over 73,000. This series looks into different aspects of school suspensions.

Once Suspended, Always Suspended: chronic suspensions, through the eyes of a student.

Joseph, 17, reviews his most recent suspension papers with Leslie Gately, one of his counselors at the DeHostos-Wise program (Photo by Sarah Tan).

The Psychology of Punishment: experts explain that suspensions don’t solve behavioral problems.

(Creative Commons photo by Alaina Abplanalp Photography)

Under the Radar: New York’s suspension sites.

Alex Spencer, principal of the Manhattan borough suspensions sites, gives a tour of a science classroom after school hours.

Pushed Out: “no excuses” charters and student exclusion.

Brianna Pena, 5, was suspended from her No Excuses charter on her very first day in school (Photo by Sarah Tan).


Omar’s Story: Looking for a Way Out

Omar White enjoys a treat on a Saturday afternoon — a basketball game on the family computer that he's usually not allowed to use, lest it distract him from his schoolwork. Omar has spent months in a suspension room at his school. (Photo by Celia Llopis-Jepsen)

One Comment on ““Suspended!” How New York Deals with the So-Called “Bad” Kids”

  1. when i was in school, the “bad kids” were put in the same class with the kids who had learning problems and needed extra help, the kids who were obviously having emotional breakdowns with screaming and flailing, druggies who caused no problems except they got high and did nothing else, retarded kids who had a teacher next to them at all times, kids who stole things outside of school and other things like that and god knows who else. there was a security guard there almost all the time.

    for those that were able to stay quiet and get the extra help and get real, it kept them humble enough to deal with high school. but it must have been a lot to manage for the staff.

    i know of ‘alternative schools’ that serve as little else besides a counseling center that gives the kids some mental and emotional balance, but they still turn out as rich kid criminals behind all their backs. at best, they are party jocks who didn’t do anything stupid for a few years, except when you see how they treated the weaker ones. but being rich, they learn tricks to get away with it. no, forgive me, but some did turn out with something decent for their livelihood.

    little school suspension is not that bad compared to some places. but counseling might be needed, even for them.

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