Doctors' group advises against out-of-school suspensions & expulsions

(WXYZ) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy on school discipline, asking districts to avoid out-of-school suspension and expulsion if possible.

The AAP says those methods of punishment should only be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students who are disciplined through out-of-school suspensions may be left without adult supervision during the day, which can lead to more negative behavior, the AAP says.

Experts also argue that punishing kids by keeping them out of school doesn't address underlying problems that caused the inappropriate behavior in the first place, such as drug abuse, violence or bullying.

The AAP also found kids who are suspended or expelled are 10 times more likely to drop out of high school than kids who never experience suspension or expulsion.

The group recommends schools take steps to prevent the behavior that ultimately leads to suspensions later in life. The AAP suggests schools develop programs for preschool children that identify kids who may be at risk of problems, teaches children proper behavior and addresses issues in group and individual settings.

The AAP encourages pediatricians to take an active approach in screening children for behavioral problems. The group also asks doctors to stay in touch with patients' schools so they can be updated on any behavioral issues.

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