Demanding new suspension policy for non-violent offenses at Buffalo Schools

Jan 12, 2012

Parents and community leaders are demanding that the Buffalo Board of Education approve a new school suspension policy. 

They gathered on the steps of Buffalo City Hall late Wednesday morning in the rain to call for the Jawaan Daniels Student Safety Resolution.  

Daniels was a Lafayette High School student who was shot and killed while standing at a bus stop last year after he was suspended for loitering in the halls.   

"We need a policy change.  We need to stop out of school suspensions for non-violent incidents.  It has been 19-months since Jawaan's been killed and nothings been happening," said Brian Trzeciak, is the education organizer with Alliance for Quality Education/Citizen Action of New York.

The Board of Education heard from speakers at Wednesday night's school board meeting at City Hall, including the mother of Daniels. 

The room was jammed with speaker after speaking calling on the board to stop its current suspension policy for non-violent offenses.

The community groups and parents presented the their resolution to the board Wednesday night, but no action was taken.

Interim schools superintendent Ambert Dixon said that her recent review of formal suspensions showed that most of the actions was warranted, but believes serious revisions are needed.  

"The resolution was ignored Wednesday night.  There was not even any sort of recognition that it was on the tabled," said Trzeciak.

The board indicated that it could take up the issue by the end of January.

"This dragging of the feet of the school board and superintendent, and the promises that were made have not been kept," said Trzeciak.