Dr. Radesky has seen firsthand what can happen when students are suspended or expelled from school: struggles with obesity, sleep ruptures, strained families and suicidal ideation.
“My patients have worked so hard on building themselves and their skills,” she said. “So for a school to say, ‘We can’t handle you,’ it’s very harmful. We have to find another way.”
Some children with disabilities can benefit from a different class schedule, experts say. But pediatrician and disability rights groups have come out forcefully against exclusionary discipline.