Maryland’s Board of Education has adopted new student discipline regulations.
The regulations approved Tuesday have been in development for four years. They aim to keep students in school, end racial disparities in suspensions and seek more constructive punishment.
Under the new regulations, local school systems must adopt policies that reduce long-term out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. These actions would only be used when a student poses an imminent threat of serious harm or is engaged in chronic or extreme disruptive behavior.
Local school boards must revise policies by the beginning of the next school year. They can take their own approaches, but the state will monitor the impact on minorities and special education students.
State officials have encouraged districts to abandon zero-tolerance policies and instead evaluate discipline on a case-by-case basis.