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CPS Revises Student Code Of Conduct, Expands Anti-Bullying Measures, Includes Easing Suspensions

By Kim Bellware in News on Jun 28, 2012 4:40PM

2012_6_2_cps.gif The Chicago School Board approved on Wednesday changes to the student code of conduct with some new proposals school officials hope will curb bullying among students. One of the biggest changes to the code is the lowering the number of days an offending student can be suspended (formerly an automatic 10-day suspension for severe misbehavior) and keeping students in school as much as possible when serving suspensions. Per the Sun-Times:

"Other elements of the new CPS Student Code of Conduct include [...] lowering the automatic minimum penalty for the most serious offenses, including murder and arson, from 10 days out of school to five days in or out of school. However, students accused of the most serious offenses would still be subject to expulsion.

The new code of conduct also has its critics upset by not what was added, but what wasn't taken out. CPS' "zero tolerance" policy remains largely untouched, meaning police may still be notified of student incidents.

Under the code, principals would be responsible for working "with all parties" until the issue is resolved, while students and school staff would have 10 days to file a report if they witness a student bullying a peer. Students could file anonymous reports in a paper form, or via the CPS violence prevention hotline.

Though feedback from activist group Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) helped CPS form the new policies, members still protested some of the harsher rules.

According to Huffington Post Chicago, members protested in April "after new data showed that more than 2,500 people ages 18 and under have been arrested on CPS property this school year, and a vast majority of those arrested are African-American--more than three quarters of all arrests." For example, students can still be charged with trespassing if they come to school to pick up homework while serving a suspension.

Here's a link to the Student Code of Conduct for the 2011-2012 school year