The ACLU of Delaware recognizes the importance of partnering with the broader community to ensure justice and equality for all of Delaware’s citizens. In an effort to strengthen community involvement throughout the state, we added the Community & Project Organizer position to our staff in September.

Too often, the voices of parents and students are missing from the process of developing the very policies and procedures that directly impact their lives. We plan to reverse this and mobilize families and communities by creating avenues to ensure a “seat at the table” for positive change.

We plan to mobilize families and communities by creating avenues to ensure a "seat at the table" for positive change.

Mounting research shows that the use of zero-tolerance discipline policies criminalizes minor violations of school rules and disproportionally affects students of color and students with disabilities. Suspended and expelled children are often left unsupervised and without constructive activities. They can easily fall behind in their coursework, leading to a greater likelihood of disengagement and drop-out.¹

According to Delaware Department of Education data, during the 2010-2011 school year, there were 32,201 in-school suspensions, 26,645 out-of-school suspensions, and 739 school-based arrests. Black and Latino students were 2-3 times more likely to be suspended for minor infractions as white peers.

ACLU-DE is currently developing recommendations for statewide policy changes and are piloting research-based alternatives.

Interested in helping us promote equal access to quality, student-centered education and safe, nurturing learning environments?

  • Get informed & know your rights: ACLU-DE can facilitate information sessions for families and students;
  • Contact your local representative expressing your concerns;
  • Host a community forum on education issues: we can help coordinate and provide materials.

For more information or to get involved, contact Community & Project Organizer Shannon Griffin.
¹American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on School Health, “Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion,” PEDIATRICS (Vol. 112 No. 5, Nov. 2003), p. 1207.