STUDENT VOICES Why should schools move away from suspensions? We asked student activists to weigh in

Why should schools move away from suspensions? We asked student activists to weigh in

Not long after Zaire Harley started high school, a guidance counselor pulled her aside and asked whether she’d like to do a “circle.”

Though the counselor had never met Zaire, he’d heard that trouble was brewing between her and a girl who believed Zaire was gossiping about her. Zaire agreed to the circle, which turned out to be a space for the girls to sit down with the counselor and a teacher’s aide and discuss the feud.

“After the meeting there was no problem,” said Zaire, a ninth grader at Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “It stopped both of us from getting suspended.”

Zaire Harley