Highline district struggles with fallout after limiting student suspensions

The Highline school district in Washington implemented a radical new strategy to break the school-to-prison pipeline based on mounting data that suspending students pushed them into a vicious cycle of violence and delinquency. However, theories of replacing punitive measures with counseling and academic triage have proven difficult to translate from theory to practice, and many teachers have resigned over fear for their safety. But one teacher at Pacific Middle School has found a way to make the approach work, and the district is promising to scale his model, invest more in teacher training, and expand resources, determined to meet their original objectives and reach the kids that need the most help.

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