Home > Policies > Education Policy > Advocate for a City Schools’ Code of Conduct that protects students’ rights, and encourages fair, appropriate, and equitable responses to student behavior

ACY has worked for many years to improve the City Schools’ Code of Conduct, the document that establishes the range of consequences students receive for negative behaviors.  This year, we have asked City Schools to revise the Code of Conduct so that it is more protective of students’ procedural and substantive rights, including their right to exercise free speech.  We have advocated for removal of school police from all routine discipline matters so as to limit the criminalization of low-level behaviors.  We have requested clear age ranges for all responses to behavior, so that students are treated in developmentally appropriate ways, and also limited and legally-based use of permanent expulsions, long-term exclusions, and disciplinary removals to alternative schools. We also have challenged City Schools to stop suspending and excluding Baltimore’s youngest children.  (Baltimore City suspended 536 pre-K to 2nd graders in 2014-2015, significantly more than any other school system in Maryland, including those with much larger populations.)  We will keep working to reform the Code of Conduct until it is designed to provide age-appropriate, fair, and equitable consequences that teach positive behavior and keep students in school and learning.