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Changing Policy  Improving Lives

Join Us in ...

  • EDUCATING the public,

  • ADVOCATING for policies that support all children,

  • KEEPING our kids in school

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Our Mission and Initiatives

The Mission of Love Our Children NC is to educate the public and school districts in North Carolina about practices and programs that facilitate learning and to advocate for changes in policies that will improve the quality of life for children and their families.


Our first initiative was to change the out of school suspension policy in New Hanover County for 4, 5, 6, and 7 year old children. We spoke with principals, teachers, civic organizations, and at Board of Education meetings. We held press conferences and advertised on billboards to educate the public and press the Board of Education to change their policy on out of school suspension for our youngest learners.


After almost two years, on April 5, 2022, New Hanover County became the first county in North Carolina to end out of school suspensions for minor infractions for its youngest learners.  Out of school suspensions are no longer allowed for 4, 5, 6, and 7 year old children unless weapons, violent behavior, or drugs are involved.

Currently, we are working on insuring that parents have the right to participate in the out of school suspension meetings for our youngest learners. We are conducting workshops on Know Your Rights About K-12 Short-term Out of School Suspensions.

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Take Part

There are many ways to be part of this effort to keep children in school. 

  • Attend Board of Education Meetings and share your story.

  • Participate in our Listen and Learn Sessions and know your rights as parents and those of your children.

  • Be involved in your children's activities and help them have self-confidence.

  • Most of all, talk with your children and find out what they are thinking and feeling. Ask for help if you or your children feel lost in the system.

Current Status of New Hanover County Schools

  • African American students are suspended six times more often than their peers.


  • African American students with disabilities are suspended at a rate 4.5 times greater than their peers; both of these statistics are for out of school suspension (OSS).  


  • NHCS is the only district in North Carolina that is significantly disproportionate in total OSS

Source: WECT May 2, 2023. Ms. Julie Varnum presented this data at the May 2023 Board of Education Meeting.

Root Causes

  • Suspension is the easy out​

  • Lack of diversity

  • Training to de-escalate behavior

  • Mental health and trauma

  • Social skills

  • Cultural bias

  • Lack of social connections 

  • Racism

  • Basic needs deficiencies-hunger

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences ACES

  • District plans vs individual schools

  • lack of effective academic interventions  

    Source - 5/2/2023 Presentation to the

    NHC School Board of Education


Keep children in school by implementing practices that:

  • Provide students with coping skills

  • Teacher training in behavior de-escalation

  • Implement "Lives in Balance Program" through Collaborative and Proactive Solutions Model (Presented at 6/2/2023 NHCBOE Meeting) 

  • Help parents be partners in their children's education

  • Build community trust between the schools, neighborhood, and communities

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