The Too Young to Suspend campaign seeks to reduce the racial disparities in elementary school suspensions. Black students in North Carolina public schools are 4.1 times more likely than their white counterparts to be suspended. Black students make up 25% of children enrolled in the state’s public schools, but receive 55.2% of short-term suspensions. White students are 47.3% of students enrolled in North Carolina’s public schools but receive only 25.8% of short-term suspensions.
In the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), Black students in elementary school grades make up 11% of the school population but receive 54% all in-school suspensions.
EJA’s Too Young to Suspend language demands are based on California AB 420 (2014) with few changes. EJA’s Too Young to Suspend language prohibits the suspension or expulsion of pre-K to 5th grade students with limited exceptions. EJA demands that WCPSS prohibits pre-K to 5th grade students from being suspended or expelled from school with limited exceptions. The intent is to prevent suspensions or expulsions of young students who misbehave or willfully defy school authorities but are not any danger to other students.
A publicly-funded school, including charter schools, shall not suspend or expel pre-K to 5th grade students and immediately implement positive prevention and intervention alternatives to support students’ social and emotional learning (SEL), such as Peace rooms, restorative justice and conflict resolution practices.