Is Suspension The Solution?

In New York City there were over 36,000 suspensions in 2018, an increase of four percent from the previous year. How do suspensions impact the school community? What alternatives do students have to suspensions?

In the fall of 2018, CUP collaborated with Teaching Artist Ro Garrido and the International Community High School’s 11th grade to learn about suspensions and their impact on school communities. To investigate, students got out of the classroom to speak with their peers and community members about school suspensions. Students created Is Suspension The Solution? to teach others what they learned and to help students, educators, and families navigate school suspensions.

Students debuted their project at the International Community High School, where they discussed their creative process and how to use the guide book. 

Get your own booklet here

Check out more photos of the project process here!

What People Are Saying

“For me as a teacher and my curriculum it worked really well in that it lead very naturally into them writing an argument essay and getting ready for the regents exam. The ideas that they generated over those two weeks really made their writing much stronger… This is at least the beginning of them recognizing that they can have a direct impact on their school community in terms of an issue that a lot of them find important.” – Nick Deming, classroom teacher 

“I really enjoyed this project because it really taught us a lot about suspensions. In my perspective, it’s really important to know about our rights as students and how it can possibly affect our learning throughout the year. It’s really important.” - Amber Martin, student

“It was a great experience because some of my friends had been suspended and they didn’t know what options they had, so they were suspended. But they could have faced other alternatives.” - Andres Camacho, student


Abdoullahi Bah, Alhassan Korain, Alhussein Korain, Amanda Lisbeth Marte, Ambar Polanco, Ameen Ahmed, Aminata Diop, Andres Camacho Taveras, Arielys Colon, Ashley Perez Pena, Asmaa Alomari, Bairon Galeano, Bassrou Juwara, Beatriz Bermudez, Carla Ramos, Carmen Toribio Martinez, Cinthia Santana, Cristhine Rodriguez, Dahiana Pimentel, Daniel Hernandez, Djenaibou Kaba, Edison Martinez, Edwin Genao, Emely Abreu, Emely Caba Rodriguez, Ericson Farias Rosario, Fatimata Radji, Fatoumata Fadiga, Fresa Fernandez Taveras, Gabriela Caraballo, Genesis Camacho Perez, Gerilynn Castillo, Guiemiratou Ouedraogo, Gumersindo Maximino, Hadiyatoulaye Diallo, Hamza Batchili, Hanzel Estevez, Harol Estevez, Henlly Garcia, Henry Camilo, Ian Laboriel Chavez, Inmanol Padilla Benitez, Jason Teliz, Jefferson Mojica, Lisanyi Rodriguez, Lisbel Diaz-Baez, Mahim Rahaman, Mamadou A Barry, Marquina Rojas, Md Shihab Akonda, Mercedes Jimenez Garcia, Michel Payano, Milennys Pena Caceres, Mohamed Numan, Mohammed Alzobidi, Mohammed Doukoure, Nadia Ripa, Nandita Chowdhury, Naomi Castillo, Naomi Upia, Nashley Pichardo, Nassaratou Alassane, Ndongo Samb, Neiny Rivas, Noumou Diallo, Oumar Kane, Paola Ortiz-Martinez, Ross Valeryn Hernandez, Ruddy Garcia, Sahomy Almonte, Samuel Garcia Payero, Serigne Diaw, Sherly Colon, Sulayman Sayang, Toribio Martinez, Carmen Toribio Martinez, Wafa Alzebidi, Welisabet Familia, Wellington Familia, Wesly Castillo, William Garzon, Wilson Perez Ramirez, Yaniel Lugo, Yasneiry Plasencia, Yinerolis Hidalgo, and Yulia Castilo

Resources & Links

International Community High School is a progressive high school in the South Bronx for English Language Learners. 

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the Bay and Paul Foundations, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governer Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Diana Ayala.

Special Thanks

Jorky Badillo, Clair Beltran, Pema Domingo-Barker, Landen Griffith, Kate McDonough, Alyssa Perrone, Rohini Singh, and Jen Robinson.


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Ro Garrido
  • Project Lead
  • Fielding Hong
  • Project Support
  • Codi Haigney
  • Leigh Taylor

  • The International Community High School
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Nick Deming

  • Principal
  • Berena Cabarcas