CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools pupils, graduates and parents are asking the system to focus more on counseling and less on discipline.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, students in a group called Voice told their stories in the Chicago School Board lobby, at 125 S. Clark St., telling of discipline they feel was excessive.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

“I cut class from time to time, and I didn’t have the best grades, but most of the time I cut class because of my personal issues and then I felt like I needed a break. So one day I got caught cutting class by a security guard and he took me to the disciplinarian’s office,” said Khaleel Pitman, who ultimately made it through Gage Park high.

Pitman said he should have been counseled instead of suspended from school.

Parent Georgina Sandifer says there are schools who need attention from police, but says there is too much reliance on coercion and not enough on counseling.

“The answer is not more police in schools, or harsh discipline practices, but for CPS to invest more than the current $0.8 million to provide more social, educational and emotional support that will give our youth a more positive learning environment and not set them up for failure,” she said.

Voice and the Chicago Teachers Union say the CPS security office budget is 48 times that of the student support office.

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