Re "Are Utah kids in school-to-prison pipeline?": It is a masterpiece ("Don't suspend kids for bahavior; it makes them drop out," Opinion, Oct. 20). It should be mandatory reading for every educator.
An extensive study by the South Carolina Department of Education found that both suspension and failure rates at ninth grade strongly correlate with dropout rates. Most high schools have the most suspensions and the highest failure rate at ninth grade. Reducing both suspensions and failures in ninth grade would significantly increase graduation rates.
Both suspensions and failures can be reduced by carefully assigning teachers to ninth grade, providing stronger counseling services to grade 9 students and by immediate intervention by teachers to alleviate possible failure. As the writers state: "The overuse of school discipline is contributing to the problem (high dropout rate)."