- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - It will be harder for Rhode Island schools to suspend children for minor infractions under a new state law.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law last week.

The legislation says students can’t be sent home unless they are a threat to fellow students or school staff or they are creating serious disruptions.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island commends the new law as a way of reducing the schools-to-prison pipeline that hurts students who are already at a disadvantage. The group says suspensions lead to more misbehavior and lower academic achievement, and suspended students are far more likely to drop out or repeat a grade.

The law also requires school superintendents to regularly review discipline data for signs of bias based on race or disability.

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