Posted on August 31, 2012

NYC Public Schools Change ‘Discipline Code’ to Ease Penalties for Smoking, Cursing, Cutting Class

CBS New York, August 29, 2012

Students may be catching a break if they misbehave in school. The rules surrounding suspensions in New York City schools are changing.

The changes to the discipline code should result in far fewer suspensions, CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported Wednesday.

“Our goal is to make sure the schools are providing a safe environment for our students, but also we just don’t push students out of the classroom where they’re not learning as well,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said.

What will be different? Well, for starters Walcott said cutting class and cursing will no longer be grounds for suspension.

Neither will smoking, something that left a few parents bewildered.


For kindergarten through third grade, shoving used to warrant a suspension, but won’t anymore.

“I don’t think suspension should be on the table for shoving in kindergarten. They’re so little, they need to learn,” parent Sharon Kennedy said.

Education law specialist Nelson Mar said the adjustments are a great “first step” toward changing school culture.

“Often times when children are removed for disciplinary measures it has a negative impact on education, so they have a greater likelihood of actually failing their classes and also a greater likelihood of them dropping out,” Mar said.


Vandalism and physical altercations in middle and high school still warrant suspension.