BPS Seek Public Input To Help Reduce Suspensions

January 9, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

January 9, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- Three public hearings will be held by an advisory board of the Buffalo Public School District to help reform the code of conduct for students within the district. The focus is on suspensions and administrators would like to see the reduction of them. According to Associate Superintendent Dr. Will Keresztes, the district averages about a 1,000 suspensions a month. The district is turning to the public for input on how current regulations can be changed.

"I think everyone can agree that the Buffalo Public Schools suspend too many students," said Dr. Keresztes. "We're interested in looking into this issue and provide new guidelines."

The first public hearing was held Monday at the Merriweather Library on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Dozens of people spoke to the board and made suggestions. Some would like to see the end of out-of-school suspensions, and noted the death of 15-year-old Jawaan Daniels. In June of 2010, Daniels was was gunned down hours after he was suspended from Lafayette High School for loitering in the halls.

"He wasn't a member of a gang. He didn't have a weapon when he got suspended. He was a typical teenager who needed some guidance and direction," said Former New York State Senator Antoine Thompson. "He had been suspended repeatedly for one thing and one thing only and that was skipping class."

The district says it's taking an aggressive approach on the matter and will speed along the process. The advisory board will submit suggestions to the superintendent and Board of Education. Following the public hearings and committee meetings, administrators say change could come this school year.

The 3 Public Hearings will be held:

-Monday, January 9th, 12-2pm, Merriweather Library - 1324 Jefferson Avenue.

-Monday, January 9th, 5-7pm, Waterfront School - 95 Fourth Street.

-Thursday, January 12th, 6-8pm, Waterfront School - 95 Fourth Street.