D.C. Council legislation would stop suspensions, expulsions of youngest students

      WASHINGTON (AP) - A D.C. councilmember is sponsoring legislation to prohibit the city's public schools from suspending or expelling pre-kindergarten students except in rare circumstances.

      The legislation from Councilmember David Grosso follows a recent city report that found 181 3- and 4-year-olds received out-of-school suspensions in the 2012-13 school year.

      The Washington Post reports that the proposal applies to both the city's traditional and charter schools.

      Advocates of the change say pre-kindergartners are being punished for behavior not necessarily inappropriate for their age, like temper tantrums and bathroom accidents.

      The legislation is part of a broader examination of suspension policy. The same report found 10,000 of the District's 80,000 students were suspended at least once in the 2012-13 school year.

      Last year, Prince George's County, Maryland, overhauled and relaxed its suspension policy.