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In 2007, the Connecticut state legislature passed a law that severely limited out-of-school suspensions. The law, which will take effect in July 2009, requires all student suspensions to automatically be in-school suspensions rather than out-of-school suspensions unless it is determined that the student poses “such a danger to people or property, or causes such a disruption of the educational process” that out-of-school suspension is necessary.

The law was initially intended to take effect in 2008, but opposition from local school districts resulted in a one-year delay in the implementation of the law. Consequently, child advocates from across the state joined together to ensure that the law would not ultimately be repealed. This coalition – which included Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, Connecticut Legal Aid, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, New Haven Legal Aid, Connecticut Voices for Children, the Center for Children’s Advocacy, Connecticut Appleseed, and various mental health advocates – coordinated meetings with superintendents from urban schools, officials from local, regional, and state boards of education, and the House Education Committee in an effort to learn about concerns and ultimately, gain allies. The coalition is currently reaching out to parents and youth to get their feedback on the law and build a broader base of allies in support of the law.

New law, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233c (2008)

Two reports issued in 2008 highlighting the overuse and misuse of harsh discipline in Connecticut schools:
Connecticut Voices for Children report

ACLU Racial Justice Report

For more info, contact:
Abby Anderson
Executive Director
Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance
2470 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
T: 203.579.2727
F: 203.333.9118
[email protected]