Ohio lawmaker seeks ban on suspending young students

COLUMBUS (AP) – An Ohio lawmaker is considering legislation to ban suspensions and expulsions of students in the third grade or younger unless the student threatens to harm peers or harm himself or herself.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Ohio Sen. Peggy Lehner, a Republican who leads the Senate education committee, says a better alternative for suspensions is training teachers how to de-escalate misbehavior.

Data shows there were more than 17,000 suspensions or expulsions in preschool through third grade for disobedient or disruptive behavior in Ohio during the 2015-16 school year.

Lehner is seeking input from teachers and school officials before moving forward with her proposal.

While local education officials agree that early grade suspensions and expulsions should be rare, most are against a state-imposed ban and prefer that discipline policies be left up to each school district.

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