Prince George's County has new disciplinary policy

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Prince George's County schools have a new discipline policy that seeks to reduce the number of suspensions.

The Washington Post reports the policy was distributed to the county's 123,000 students in a handbook. It reduces the number of offenses that could result in a suspension.

The policy also limits the number of days a student can be kept out of class. The previous policy did not specify maximum penalties for "soft offenses," such as disrespect or disruptions in class.

Daryl Williams, the district's chief of student services, says the goal is to ensure students are in school and to minimize the number of days they are removed from schools.

The change comes as local school boards are being asked to move away from zero-tolerance punishments and to reduce suspensions.