RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia schools suspended or expelled more than 90,500 students in 2010-11, but such harsh disciplinary measures don’t improve student behavior or make schools safer, according to a new report.

The JustChildren advocacy group said in its report Thursday that most suspensions followed relatively minor misbehavior, such as disorderly conduct or misuse of electronics — violations that don’t involve weapons, drugs or injury to others.

The study says suspensions and expulsions disproportionately affect black students and students with disabilities. It also says forcing students to miss instruction is counterproductive because it’s linked to lower achievement and higher dropout rates.

Among the report’s recommendations are that Virginia require schools to develop less subjective alternatives to removing students, and provide incentives for schools that successfully reduce suspensions and expulsions.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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