Criminal Justice Reform & Police AccountabilityOur impactPACTPublic Education Improvement

PACT tackles out-of-school suspension rates

By June 30, 2012July 15th, 2014No Comments

Miami, FL – In 2012, PACT’s congregations voted to address the problem of juvenile crime in Miami-Dade. In researching this problem, they determined that approximately 70% of juvenile crime occurs Tuesday through Friday during school hours, and that there was correlation between a neighborhood’s juvenile crime rate and the rate of out-of-school suspensions in its schools. District-wide, more than 37,000 out of school suspensions had been issued in the previous school year alone. To justify the sky-high suspension rates, school officials were claiming that the suspended students were a threat to other children in the classroom. However, 90% of the suspensions were for minor offenses like tardiness, uniform violations or possession of a cell phone. PACT’s Action Assembly in 2013 set out to reverse this trend. In April of that year, 1,100 people came together to ask school board members and administrators to implement changes to the code of conduct which would lower suspensions rates to not more than 10% of the district population. They agreed, and the ensuing changes to the code of conduct have already prevented more than 12,000 out of school suspensions from occurring.