A child plays in an activity area of the New Mexico PreK class at Berrendo Elementary in Roswell. Xchelzin Pena/New Mexico In Depth
New Mexico lawmakers are debating a bill that would curtail expulsions and out-of-school suspensions for the state’s youngest students. National studies show that children in child care and preschool programs are at least three times more likely than older children to be expelled. The bill would bar out-of-school suspensions for children younger than 8 years old, except in cases where the child threatened, attempted or caused bodily injury to another individual that was not in self-defense. And none of those suspensions would be allowed to exceed three days.