DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – State Representative Eric Johnson joined local education advocates Wednesday, at his former Dallas elementary school, to celebrate passage of HB 674 which he authored. The bill limits out-of-school suspensions for students in pre-kindergarten through the second grade.
“A school district can not allow students below third grade to be suspended out of school for something other than extreme violence, assault, or carrying weapons to school,” said Johnson.
Rep. Johnson said academic studies have shown that young children who are expelled or suspended from school are more likely to drop out of school, face incarceration and repeat grades than students who do not face classroom removal during early childhood.
“We have a better chance of avoiding incarceration if we work on correcting behavior,” said Johnson. “Other than punishing them and their families by telling them to go home.”
He said HB 674 seeks to prevent the criminalization of young children, particularly young children of color and children with disabilities. A similar policy was passed locally by Dallas ISD in February. The Texas Organizing Project, Texas Appleseed, and the ALCU helped Johnson support the bill.
This story originally appeared June 21, 2017 on WBAP 850 AM.