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.”