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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Public Schools Board has approved a change to the district’s suspension policy which affects kids in Pre-K through second grade.

Parents and educators got their wish to ban suspensions on the youngest students for minor infractions. That means there cannot be any violence involved.

The school board voted to approve the change Wednesday night.

Last year, children in Pre-K through second grade in the Pittsburgh Public Schools missed 800 days.

Before the meeting, education advocates were publicly calling for the ban.

“I’ve seen a lot of children who suspension has harmed. There’s lots of research data that shows that suspending kids is not a method. It’s not a way to help kids who are struggling in school,” Dr. Claire Cohen said.

“The suspension program is not good the way that they do it now because I feel like they suspend the children for any reason and then they just send them home, their parents are at work, kids are missing school,” one parent said.

African-American children and students with disabilities faced the most suspensions last year.

The ban takes effect next fall.

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