Baltimore schools challenged over permanent expulsions

Legal Aid staff attorney Nicole Jassie

Legal Aid staff attorney Nicole Jassie

After Maryland Legal Aid successfully challenged the permanent expulsion of three Baltimore City school students, the Baltimore Sun reports that the school system is softening its stance on permanent expulsion for students under 16 involved with arson or explosives.

Nicole Jassie, a Legal Aid attorney, said she believes the Baltimore school system may have violated the Maryland Constitution when it told students they no longer had access to a public education,” said today’s article, “Debate simmers over student expulsions.” “She points out that the state guarantees chidren a free and adequate education and makes school attendance mandatory up to the age of 16.”

Jassie also pointed out that the policy contrasts with the criminal justice system. “Even teenagers who are convicted of serious crimes are allowed to go to a jail school,” the article said. “While a few school systems don’t let a very small percentage of students back in their schools after serious incidents, most systems transfer students to alternative schools and then allow them to return.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Last week, Assistant Director of Advocacy for Children’s Rights Janet Hartge and Jassie appeared on the Marc Steiner Show on WEAA-FM. Hartge debated Baltimore City schools’ Jonathan Brice about its permanent expulsion policy.

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