Most Dallas Independent School District students who get into trouble will not be suspended this school year. Instead of suspensions, most students who misbehave will be sent to one of the district’s new reset centers to address issues.
As previously reported by the Dallas Express, West Oak Cliff school principal Pierre Fleurinor and his vice principal created reset centers to discipline students while addressing their social and emotional needs. Dallas ISD as a whole has adopted reset centers as the district agrees that the old way of punishing students with in-school or out-of-school suspension does not always work. Specifically, they cite students of color accounted for nearly 52% of the district’s out-of-school suspensions in the 2019 school year.
According to an interview with FOX 4, Dallas ISD said that research shows that most students who are removed from the classroom to be disciplined end up repeating a grade, dropping out of school, or ending up in the justice system. According to Coach Flo, a physical activities coordinator for the district, many students are happy to be suspended as they think to themselves, “Cool, I get to go home and play Xbox. Nobody’s watching me.”
The district believes that keeping badly behaved students in school changed their whole perspective. “You go in there to calm yourself down, get your space, get your thinking right,” said seventh-grade student Quy Myers, who said she had some trouble controlling her temper in class, but Fleurinor helped her through it. “Going home, nobody really cares,” she said. “Doing it in school is better because there are people that actually care for what you need.”
While most violations will not lead to suspension, there is a limit to violations that could be resolved with the new reset centers. Serious violations such as drug possession or making threats could still lead to a student being suspended or even expelled from the district.