Personal Story: Discipline Reform For My Kids

Legislation | 02/25/2021

Erika Rocha
Mom, Parent Advocate

I am a mother of two children with learning disabilities, they are in first and third grade. Recently I have found out how outdated and harsh school dicipline policies are in Arizona, especially for our youngest of students.

You see, my kids and I went through an experience that is far too familiar for so many in Arizona.

They both have been diagnosed with learning disabilities so they would both receive speech therapy in addition to other resource services. With little explanation, their school called to inform me that they were going to expel my young students. Citing issues like not listening or talking too much, this seemed like an exaggerated punishment for such small infractions.

Sadly, the lack of school counselors and resources has made school districts too reliant on zero-tolerance policies like suspensions. For the future of so many students like mine, we need to find other ways to deal with these issues.

I had to fight to keep my young kids in school. Now, we have a chance to change outdated discipline policies that are pushing out so many students from the classroom. HB 2125 addresses this by limiting expulsions and suspensions for our youngest students, Pre-K through 4th grade.

 

(Photo by the Arizona Republic)


Many students that are being suspended are children with learning or behavioral disabilities that are already behind, so resorting to suspension and expulsion will put them even further behind, and sometimes they can’t ever catch up.

I still dread that this can happen to children like mine because they have a disability.

I want to invite you to help change outdated discipline policies in schools and protect our young students. HB2125 is a great step forward and it will be up for a vote in the AZ House of Representatives! Your legislators are considering this bill, will you send a quick note to show your support?

They need to hear from you!

Thank you for your support.

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