Okemos School Board Discusses Best Way To Prevent Expulsions - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Okemos School Board Discusses Best Way To Prevent Expulsions

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OKEMOS, MI (WLNS) - The Okemos school board is holding a work session and among the discussion items is their code of conduct policy.

Last week, a youth group from Detroit marched to the Capitol, urging state lawmakers for changes to schools’ zero tolerance policy.

6 News Nick Perreault talked with school board members on possible changes they could see in their district.

Felix Sharpe says expulsion isn't always the best option

"In some instances that's the end of that young man or woman's educational career,” said Sharpe.

So this Okemos board member says he plans on offering a few ideas to help keep kids in school.

"We have to take a look at how we better counsel children and their families, not just the children, there needs to be some professional development for teachers in school systems. It has to be a multi-faceted approach,” said Sharpe.

It’s an approach in Okemos that Sharpe says he'd like to see include more board involvement, so they have the the final say when expelling students.

"Based on my experience and what I've seen that the board should serve as oversight, policy board with regard to student expulsion, it’s seven perspectives as opposed to one or two.”

"I don't think that we need additional oversight,” said Amy Crites Okemos School Board.

School Board President Amy Crites believes expulsions should be left up to the administration, just as they are now..

"But philosophically, we're definitely leaning toward more options.”

Especially at the middle school and high school level to help students, before it gets to the point of termination

"Through the presentations, we see a lot more behavioral support.”

The amount of suspensions in recent years has been reduced. With more changes, there’s hope that number will countinue to go down.
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