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Young Children Still Suspended In High Numbers Despite New Law

A year after a new law designed to clamp down on the use of out-of-school suspension, a preliminary review of four of the state’s biggest cities shows suspension is down, but continues at an alarmingly high rate, according to the state’s child advocate.

“We have been called about multiple five- and six-year-olds who have been placed on out-of-school suspension for up to five days for behaviors that are likely out of the child’s control,” said Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said.

Because her office was receiving so many calls from parents and guardians about suspension, Eagan requested data on it from Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport. The four cities have reported more than 700 incidents of out-of-school suspension during this past school year for children in kindergarten through second grade. That’s down from 1,508 the previous year, but still much higher than Eagan hoped to see under the new law.