Policy and Legislative Solutions to Suspension and Expulsion of Young Children

February 8, 2018

HARTFORD – Keeping our youngest learners in school should be one of the highest priorities of school districts. Increased mental health awareness, assessment and access to services are fundamental to children’s success.

The Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, the Center for Children’s Advocacy, and the Office of the Child Advocate jointly host a discussion on the critical importance of setting young children up for success at school. Presentations include innovative programs that address children’s mental health and social-emotional development, and proposed policy and legislative solutions to help reduce the exclusion of young students from school.

Legislation in 2015 prohibited out-of-school suspension and expulsion of young children, but there are exceptions in the law and children continue to be excluded from school at an alarming rate.

“Fostering the development of emotional skills should be one of the highest priorities of school districts. When we neglect to invest in this, we lose a critical window of development. We also may end up with less academically accessible and more emotionally dysregulated students. This contributes to the alarming rate of suspension and expulsion among small children, says Attorney Kathryn Meyer of the Center for Children’s Advocacy.

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