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Dallas ISD will no longer suspend high school and middle school students, introduces ‘reset centers’ as new disciplinary action

Data shows prior to the pandemic, of the students placed in out-of-school suspension, 52% were African American, 44% were Hispanic and 2.4% were white.

DALLAS — Dallas Independent School District is making some changes in how it addresses student disciplinary issues across middle and high school campuses.

The school district is doing away with in-school and out-of-school suspensions as disciplinary practices. The district, instead, will address student behavior issues by incorporating "reset centers" in its 52 middle and high schools.

“We’re just trying to address something that has been going on for a long time,” said Pierre Fleurinor, a reset coordinator for Dallas ISD.

Fleurinor, or Coach Flo, as the students call him, works at Stockard Middle School. He said the reset center gives the students a place to refocus, cool down, connect and form relationships.

“We try to just meet them at the door, love on them. Let them know that we see them. They’re welcome. And if they are having a moment where they are dysregulated, we want to just pull them to the side, talk to them. Find out what exactly the issue is,” explained Fleurinor.

The school district’s program change is, in part, to address the history and disproportionate number of minority students who were being disciplined by suspensions.

Data from Dallas ISD shows prior to the pandemic, of the students placed in out-of-school suspension during the 2019-2020 school year, 52% were African American, 44% were Hispanic, and 2.4% were white.

“The reset center is, like, a place that I can go to whenever I have problems, you know, just to deal with my issues,” said student Gracie Cardona.

Students said the reset centers are helping them navigate challenges they’re facing on campus and at home. 

“When you’re feeling frustrated, you can go in there, talk to someone that wants to talk to you,” said student Michael Hernandez.

In addition to trained reset coordinators, there are mental health clinicians, and social emotional staff to help facilitate the programs on each campus.

Dallas ISD administrators said they are getting calls from other school districts interested in learning more about its reset centers.