Limit on expulsions and suspensions of young Colorado students clears first legislative hurdle

in Education/Government

An effort to limit school suspensions and expulsions for Colorado’s youngest students took its first step to becoming law Thursday.

House Bill 1194 would allow such actions only if a young student — one in second grade or below — has a weapon or drugs or creates a safety risk. It next heads to the House floor.

Advocates for the measure argued that tossing young children out of school does more harm than good. More than 5,800 students faced such punishment in the 2017-18 school year, about three suspensions for every 100 students in grades K-2.

“This is a critical developmental era for these children. We’re talking about 7-year-olds and younger,” said state Rep. Colin Larson, a Littleton Republican and co-sponsor of the bill. “It’s much easier to deal with the behavioral issues of a 7-year-old than it is to deal with the behavioral issues of a 21-year-old.”

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