Buffalo Drafts New School Suspension Policy

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM EDT

By John Borsa

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December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Wandering the halls or talking in class can get you suspended from school if you're a student in Buffalo.

The policy, described by many parents and education advocates as harsh, is seen as one reason why the city has such a dismal graduation rate.

Each year about 18,000 or roughly 40 percent of Buffalo school students are suspended.

In June, 2010, 15-year-old Jawaan Daniels was killed when he was shot just hours after being suspended for loitering the halls at Lafayette High School.

"We're moving from having a code of conduct which is typical in most school districts which is punitive in its nature to one that is more restorative," said Buffalo Schools Associate Superintendent Will Keresztes.

Parents got a preview of a draft copy of the student conduct rules at a meeting at McKinley High School on Tuesday night.

Education advocates say the new rules are a big improvement, but not perfect.

"There are vague categories such as defiance of authority, insubordination and disrespectful behavior are still punishable offenses. As currently written these behaviors can result in short-term suspension, long-term suspension and even permanent expulsion. They're open to all of that? That's a little vague," said Jim Anderson from Citizen Action of New York.