A revamped Chicago Public Schools code of conduct would reduce student suspensions that officials say ultimately keep kids out of the classroom.
The proposed new code, which goes before the school board Wednesday, aims to use in-school suspension in place of or in combination with out-of-school suspensions.
Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard told NBC Chicago that lessons on conflict resolution taught in school can save students' lives outside of school. New police numbers revealed 319 students were shot this past school year.
"If you take a look at the spirit of this code of conduct," Brizard said, "it goes through the proactive means of addressing student behavior, especially building resilience so that when they're out of school ... they know how to walk away from conflict."
The proposed policy also provides new ways to crack down on bullying. It would require students and staff who witness bullying to report it, and requires claims to be investigated within 10 school days.
"It's a problem everywhere," Brizard said. "Being a large urban school district we have problems as well. This will make it easier for students, for teachers, for principals to report bullying."
The proposal would require principals to work with the students until the victim felt safe around the bully. An anonymous hotline and web outlet are meant to make it easier to report bullying incidents.
"We want [reports] to happen as quickly as possible, but the idea is to make sure it is reported, it is investigated," Brizard said.