Published using Google Docs
June 29, 2020
Updated automatically every 5 minutes

Long Island Advocacy Center  

June 2020

LIAC remains open and ready to serve families! 

We can help! Reach us TODAY!

516-248-2222 ext. 10 (Nassau)  

631-234-0467 ext. 10 (Suffolk)

Visit us online at for valuable updated information, links to more in-depth guidance, or to fill out an online intake.            

El Long Island Advocacy Center brinda servicios y recursos en español. Por favor visite nuestro sitio web para más información.



LIAC recently launched the Reducing Suspension Disparities Program (RSDP) in Nassau County funded through a generous grant from the Nassau County Department of Human Services, Office of Youth Services. The program was conceived after a review of the data showed that, in Nassau County, black students are disproportionately suspended more than their peers.

Acknowledging that LIAC has long been a  leader in the fight to reduce suspension disparities on Long Island, the RSDP allows LIAC to provide free legal representation, and education advocacy, to families who are facing disciplinary action by their schools.  

LIAC works to ensure that schools treat all students fairly, students’ due process rights are protected, and students receive the services they need to thrive at school. 

LIAC recognizes the damage that out-of-school suspensions cause. Students are removed from their school communities, ties are severed to trusted adults, and students are denied access to many of the crucial components of education.  

Suspensions deprive students of school-based instruction and guidance. As we have all seen due to COVID-19, remote learning and home-instruction is not always an appropriate education.  

Students need school-based learning, services, guidance, and support.  LIAC will continue to advocate for academic engagement and a supportive environment for all, to ensure students receive what they need, and what they are entitled to, including the appropriate social-emotional, behavioral, and academic services, so they can thrive at school.

LIAC will continue to work toward disrupting the school to prison pipeline, allowing students to stay in school, learn, and become productive members of the community. 

Want to learn more about our Reducing Suspension Disparities Program? Click here or contact LIAC attorney, Christine Bingham at

The Reducing Suspension Disparities Initiative has afforded LIAC the opportunity to coordinate with community-based service providers throughout Nassau County to advance the project, provide training to staff working with potential clients, and create space and opportunity to meet with affected families. LIAC continues to strive to bring critical information to communities most in need, be a resource for families, and empower the community by imparting knowledge. Contact Education Outreach/Advocate, Donna Shepherd, at to discuss trainings and collaborations!



Legislative initiatives are underway to end the reliance on suspensions as the default means of student discipline and establish a framework to instead use proven restorative approaches to help create supportive educational environments.  

The Judge Judith S. Kaye Solutions Not Suspensions Act promotes proven methods that hold students accountable while helping them learn from their mistakes and keeping them in supportive classrooms.  The Act, among other things, would nearly eliminate the use of exclusionary discipline for K-3 students as well as promote the use of restorative justice and other successful discipline techniques in place of punishments that remove students from their learning environment.  Restorative Justice is an approach to discipline that focuses on repairing harm through inclusive processes that engage stakeholders.  When implemented well Restorative Justice shifts the focus of discipline from punishment to learning.   The Act would also limit the amount of time that a student can be out of school to 20 school days, and guarantee access to appropriate work and instruction so that students who are suspended can stay on track academically.

The Solutions Not Suspension Coalition was created to support the passage of this important law.  More information about the coalition can be found at


Lissy Escobar is a bilingual education advocate in our Suffolk office.  A graduate of Farmingdale State college, she started working at LIAC in 2016. Here’s Lissy in her own words: “I have learned a lot throughout the years that I have been working here with different families who have students that are on the PINS Diversion program and JD program. Through LIAC I have also been able to collaborate with other agencies, like NYCLU, to provide families and other services providers with workshops. These workshops have been on a couple of different educational topics and they have also been provided to families in Spanish and/or English. I am very passionate about my job because I feel like I am able to make a difference in a student's life.”

Christine Bingham, Esq. is a LIAC education attorney who focuses on suspension disparities in Nassau County.  Through casework and direct and systemic advocacy, she is working to protect the right of all students. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Villanova Law School.  She started her legal career as an Attorney for the Child in the Brooklyn Office of The Legal Aid Society in NYC.  There she represented children in Kings County Family Court in neglect, delinquency, abuse, and PINS proceedings.  Turning her focus to Long Island, she now advocates for students and families throughout Nassau County to secure for them the needed services and educational supports required to help them thrive.  

When COVID-19 closed schools statewide many children had no access to the online learning curriculum being used.  Agency advocates and attorneys were able to assist families with devices, WiFi connections, and ensure districts were providing meaningful educational services.

Email us at

Submit an Online Intake

Nassau County: 516-248-2222 x 10

Suffolk County: 631-234-0467 x 10



                     Facebook           Donate                Twitter

LIAC Archived Newsletters:

May 5, 2020

June 10, 2020