We can't cut school suspensions without funding alternatives [Letter]

November 19, 2013

Teachers and administrators do not like suspending students. It is always a balancing act trying to weigh the interests of the larger student body vs. that of the individual student ("The folly of pre-K suspensions," Nov. 12). That said, criticism of suspensions with no mention of funding "in-school" interventions represents the height of hypocrisy.

Most of the children involved in violent behaviors need love and support, which will rarely be found in a suspension. Schools need to create internal programs and alternative curricula for many, many of these children, but there is no money to do so. Thus, schools are left with one tool to deal with highly-disruptive, often violent students: suspension. Until the larger society recognizes the seriousness of our needs and funds those needs, teachers don't want to read self-righteous, finger-pointing, hand-wringing lectures.

Tom Smith, Baltimore

The writer is a teacher at Patterson High School.

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