By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Earlier this year, Dallas ISD made the decision to eliminate school suspensions. The district has moved to a new, unique approach for addressing bad behavior.

While managing suspensions at his school – Pierre Fleurinor noticed a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic students being placed in his care. “The numbers showed it and it was clearly reflected across the board, in multiple schools,” the DISD Reset Lab Coordinator said.

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He started looking into why.

“A lot of these habits that were causing them to be suspended were things that could be talked though, but those conversations were not being held and because of that people were just dismissing these kids immediately,” he said.

With the help of his assistant principal, he created a “reset center” where students are able to address their social and emotional needs.
He said when students arrive they’re normally stressed and emotional. So he gives them all kind mindfulness tools like these to put them in a better place.

“I’ll sit there and we’ll talk,” he said. “Some have really big walls up and they have a lot going on, but I guarantee you if you take time to build that relationship the results are endless.”

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Some of Fleurinor’s students shared their thoughts.

“I would talk to him about things,” LV Stockard 8th grader Savannah Rodriguez said.” “He’ll listen. I’m not going to be worried about the bad stuff.”
“It helps you get stuff out of your mind,”

“You can then concentrate when you talk to him,” said another 8th grader, Miguel Beltran.

Fleurinor said after seeing improvements in behavior, last April DISD decided to do away with suspensions altogether and put reset centers in every middle and high school. Now, other districts are inquiring about them.

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“A lot of other districts were you know a little nervous to implement something like this out of fear of behaviors just getting out of control, but I feel like the results that we’re getting are showing that we took the right steps,” he said.

Erin Jones