“Right now it’s just a resolution,” Randall said. “To make long-term change that is not subject to who the administrators are at the time, you need a policy-level change.”
Holt said their group will keep working to make that happen, adding that they plan to attend upcoming DPS policy committee meetings.
School board President Robert Walker said there was agreement on the board that out-of-school suspensions are not the most effective discipline measure.
“This is pushing us to look at more creative and innovative ways to embrace children who are challenged in the classroom,” Walker said. “Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not.”
Dayton teachers union president David Romick said the training that teachers will receive is still being developed, but he was generally happy with the language the board approved.
“The policy is structured around the new code of conduct, which was revised this year,” Romick said. “We were pleased that as usual, teachers were involved in that process. … We are pleased with the way this is written.”
The changes to the code of conduct included removing dress code violations, insubordination, profanity and truancy from the list of suspendable offenses. Language on the zero tolerance policy was removed from the code of conduct, and prevention and intervention strategies were clarified.
“This issue is sweeping our country, and we think Dayton is moving in the right direction to ensure that all students, even disruptive students, can have the right to an education,” Holt said.