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Kinsa

Being suspended from school

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My niece has three children. These are good children. They are well behaved and disciplined. They come from a stable, traditional home. In other words, no red flags.

 

Yet two of these three children have been suspended from school, and I suspect it's just a matter of time until the youngest one is.

 

First child was suspended for losing control of herself and having a complete meltdown over what she perceived as an injustice. This was before she started medication to help control her moods, so she is now stable. But instead of recognizing the medical problem, the school suspended her. She was 7 or 8yo when this happened.

 

Second child has been bullied relentlessly this school year. (He's an Aspie.) Last week, he "finger gunned" the bullies. Since the school l has a zero tolerance policy on gun violence, he was suspended. (Note that nothing has been done by the school to address the bullying situation.) He is 11yo.

 

When I was growing up, suspensions were rare and for egregious violations only. But these situations seem a bit ridiculous to me. Is this the new norm? None of my kids have ever been in school (except colleges), so I'm sincerely asking. Are kids more likely to be suspended these days? Because I'm rather surprised that two of three kids (so far) of a lay preacher and a church secretary could be suspended so readily. (Eta: I know kids of lay preachers and church secretaries can be hellions too. That's not my point.)

Edited by Kinsa
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Yup.  The zero tolerance policy is very strict.  Any action that resembles a threat is suspend-able.   Unfortunately, in schools today, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

 

That shooter last week?  They said there were "red flags,"  Guess what?  I have at least 30 kids with "red flags."  If one of them makes a threat of any kind, verbal, gun "pretend" or likewise, we have to act to show that we are indeed "doing something."   If a kid blows up the school and talked about it and then said, "Oh, I was just joking" and we hadn't done anything......we are in hot water.

 

It is really a MESS right now in schools, all schools, not just public.  My friend is a private/Christian school principal and he has had it.  It is a mess there too.

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My son was suspended for biting another child while play wrestling this week. It was total BS. (Aside from the fact that “play wrestling†is a free choice the kids in his class can choose if they do well enough during the day—and this is a class for emotionally disturbed kids who have aggression issues. Play wrestling is soooo inappropriate for thm)

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In the elementary schools here there are very few suspensions. I think kids are put on some sort of Positive behavior plans to help them improve their behaviors.

 

Now, middle school and up is No Tolerance. I think it's a bit over the top because a kid can be pummeling another kid and if the kid being beat up does ANYTHING to fight back/defend themselves, they get suspended also. Doesn't matter if they had nothing to do with starting the fight in the first place.

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In the elementary schools here there are very few suspensions. I think kids are put on some sort of Positive behavior plans to help them improve their behaviors.

 

Now, middle school and up is No Tolerance. I think it's a bit over the top because a kid can be pummeling another kid and if the kid being beat up does ANYTHING to fight back/defend themselves, they get suspended also. Doesn't matter if they had nothing to do with starting the fight in the first place.

 

The problem is, it becomes a "he said/he said" situation.  Kids will stick up for their friends, even if their friend started it.   They will say "no, he didn't."

 

Seriously.  Kids aren't taught ethics and truth telling anymore.  (Not all kids, obviously, but it is rampant......situational ethics is the norm.)

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From what i have observed it depends sort of on the teacher who sees it. Older teachers are more tolerant and can see a situation for what it is, handle it and move on. Younger teachers not so much.

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But instead of recognizing the medical problem, the school suspended her. She was 7 or 8yo when this happened.

 

Second child has been bullied relentlessly this school year. (He's an Aspie.)

The one thing your niece can do to minimize the threat of suspension is to make sure they have at least 504 plans and Behavioral Intervention Plans in place. It would be even better if they have IEPs.

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From what i have observed it depends sort of on the teacher who sees it. Older teachers are more tolerant and can see a situation for what it is, handle it and move on. Younger teachers not so much.

The thing about zero tolerance is that if you do not respond as the district has mandated, and it is seen/found out (like, say, by a parent who’s child told him that “well, Johnny in Mrs. M’s class did the same thing and he didn’t get in troubleâ€),you’re going to get slapped down for it. Even if you know good and well that a kid biting his sandwich into a gun or a kid bringing a butter knife to school so she can eat more easily with her new braces isn’t in any way, shape or form equivalent to actually bringing a working weapon with intent to use it. Teachers are not allowed to use common sense or experience.

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It really depends on the school/district. The finger gun one isn’t surprising in our current climate. The one for the younger girl is.

 

Our middle school has a great administration team that works hard at having layers of discipline and not just suspensions. There’s Saturday school, peer court, community service, lunch with the counselor, regular old detention, loss of privileges, and suspension. Ds got into a fight last year and they decided to take away the big 8th grade fun days instead of suspending him. It was very effective.

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One thing that really make me hopeful (although not holding my breath) is that the superintendent announced this past week that in response to the school shooting in Florida, he has decided that what our district really needs is to focus on mental health and give far more support to school counselors.

 

In the past, we were the left over red headed step children, so I hope this is going to happen.

 

We are currently 504 coordinators, intervention specialists, testing co-coordinators, run all sorts of clubs, activities, parent nights, teach classes, etc....AND are expected to meet with students who need us.  That last line item gets the least amount of our time because of all the paperwork and other stuff.

 

We would love to run actual counseling groups, peer mediation groups, meet with students who need it, etc.....

 

Fingers crossed.

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The problem is, it becomes a "he said/he said" situation. Kids will stick up for their friends, even if their friend started it. They will say "no, he didn't."

 

Seriously. Kids aren't taught ethics and truth telling anymore. (Not all kids, obviously, but it is rampant......situational ethics is the norm.)

I do have to wonder though with the number of cameras in every school around here ( short of bathrooms) if that’s the case anymore , or if it’s just easier for the schools.

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I do have to wonder though with the number of cameras in every school around here ( short of bathrooms) if that’s the case anymore , or if it’s just easier for the schools.

 

Cameras are not everywhere, and the students know that.  We have them in the hallway, the gym, the cafeteria, the office, and select areas.

 

They are NOT in the bathrooms, certain areas outside (we have several fields where there is no way to have a camera), and they are not inside the classrooms.  

 

AND our hallways are so crowded during passing periods, there is sometimes no way to see on the cameras what happened.

 

ETA:  And no cameras in locker rooms, where a LOT of this stuff tends to be a problem.  And adult males aren 't allowed in the locker rooms, so it is a free for all in there.

Edited by DawnM
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My son was suspended for biting another child while play wrestling this week. It was total BS. (Aside from the fact that “play wrestling†is a free choice the kids in his class can choose if they do well enough during the day—and this is a class for emotionally disturbed kids who have aggression issues. Play wrestling is soooo inappropriate for thm)

Such a set-up for failure. Poor guy.

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My son was suspended for biting another child while play wrestling this week. It was total BS. (Aside from the fact that “play wrestling†is a free choice the kids in his class can choose if they do well enough during the day—and this is a class for emotionally disturbed kids who have aggression issues. Play wrestling is soooo inappropriate for thm)

 

Can you go talk to someone?  My Aspie would not have done well with this either.  In fact, my middle son, NOT on the spectrum, was attacked and wrestled to the ground during a homeschool scouting event, even though he told the guy he didn't want to play along.   He hates roughhousing too.

 

It isn't appropriate at school at all IMO.

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Our local schools recently have made efforts to stop with the ridiculous number of suspensions.  They decided to actually, you know, deal with the issues rather than just suspend students over piddly stuff.  Even kindergartners were being routinely suspended. 

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It really depends on the school district. I used to work in a very, very large school district that had a wide array of alternative programs. Students were not simply suspended.They would be given an alternative location to attend school. Possibly in school suspension at the home campus all the way to an alternative camps that was very much like jail (my description not the official description)

A kid of that age threatening another kid with shooting would result in a placement at an alternative location for the rest of the school year. Kids on IEPs who may not really understand the implications of what they did would still be given an alternative placement. The elem age kid not previously identified as having special needs, would be sent home for the rest of the day. But an incident like that would start he ball rolling for possible identification. Once she is on an IEP, thee would probably be a plan in place to deal with future issues

 

The district where I live now is very small and does not have those kinds of resources, so students are suspended (and bullying is totally ignored as the biggest offenders are sons of the basketball coach

Edited by City Mouse
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I once got suspended for giving a friend an OTC Tylenol tablet for a migraine. Meanwhile, an acquaintance got detention for having pot, because it was less than an ounce.

 

I also got suspended once because a particular maladjusted problem girl decided to shove pizza in my face, which I calmly wiped off and ignored her as she kept screaming at me - this was supposedly fighting, and so we both got sent home for the rest of the day despite the fact that she attacked me in front of witnesses and I did absolutely nothing to her. Didn’t even know her name until someone else said it. Mind you, I was an honor roll student and had a flawless attendance record and almost no disciplinary issues (the Tylenol incident being the only one), and she had been in and out of police custody and community service programs for her ongoing violence and gang issues. And yet instead of me being cleaned up and sent back to class with an apology for the attack from ANYONE, I got the exact same punishment she did.

 

Yes, I’m still a little miffed about both of these things. It may or may not have contributed to my refusal to send my kids to public school and investigation into alternative education options.

 

It’s completely idiotic and ridiculous.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Our local schools recently have made efforts to stop with the ridiculous number of suspensions. They decided to actually, you know, deal with the issues rather than just suspend students over piddly stuff. Even kindergartners were being routinely suspended.

Oh! You reminded me of my one other suspension. It was in first grade, because I was bored out of my mind and refused to do the verbal phonogram practice because I could already read. The teacher actually polled the class as to whether I should be given another chance or sent to the principal. The class lobbied that I should stay but she decided she didn’t like that answer and sent me anyway. The rest is kind of fuzzy with time, but I remember thinking it was completely nonsense that I should have to go through the motions of an activity I could complete, on my own, in a fraction of the time.

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Cameras are not everywhere, and the students know that.  We have them in the hallway, the gym, the cafeteria, the office, and select areas.

 

They are NOT in the bathrooms, certain areas outside (we have several fields where there is no way to have a camera), and they are not inside the classrooms.  

 

AND our hallways are so crowded during passing periods, there is sometimes no way to see on the cameras what happened.

 

ETA:  And no cameras in locker rooms, where a LOT of this stuff tends to be a problem.  And adult males aren 't allowed in the locker rooms, so it is a free for all in there.

 

See, we do have them everywhere here except bathrooms. Elementary schools don't have locker rooms, so it isn't an issue on that front for the ages of Kinsa's relatives. There isn't anywhere that they can't see, unless the view happens to be partially blocked by walking past a pillar outside or something. It's very Big Brother, but with all of the security issues happening in the world, I can't blame them. 

 

My personal observation, while Dd attended our district, is that they did everything in their power NOT to suspend because they didn't want to lose the funding. Our district does not have alternative campuses, so if they resort to that they have to send the child to the neighboring district who does- but then that district takes the funding. I learned this when I questioned why a student who punched a teacher in one of dd's junior high classes wasn't moved to an alternative school (or suspended). That being said, I fully admit we're in a very affluent area in what is considered a top district and I have a feeling the kids are cut a bit more slack on the privilege front that in many surrounding areas. I have a friend who was a school psychologist here at one point and she told me that amount of scandals hushed up are amazing. I think money talks in these cases. You might not be able to easily sue a school, but the bad publicity and risk of ruining a district's name in the press probably carries a decent amount of weight around these parts. 

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Every school has a discipline plan which is supposed to be followed. The elementary incident would not be a suspension here if she was under treatment and had IEP or  504 plus she would have psych support  going forward.  The 11 year old would be suspended, most likely in-school suspension. Schools posts their discipline codes..perhaps you can find it on line.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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My son was suspended for drawing a heart on a swing set wit washable crayons.  It was not his idea but the kid who had been bullying him for more than a year and I had many talks about with the principal told him that if he didn't, he would beat up not only him but also my daughter (younger sister).  My son was suspended for vandalism, the other kid got the umpteenth lecture to be nice.  The following week said kid beat my son unconscious and the school did nothing.  At that point we decided to homeschool.

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From what i have observed it depends sort of on the teacher who sees it. Older teachers are more tolerant and can see a situation for what it is, handle it and move on. Younger teachers not so much.

I have observed this, also.  My aunt recently retired from teaching--most of her career was teaching 5th grade; she has her stories of years that were crazy, but she can count the number of times she even sent a student to the principal's office over her entire career.  She saw other teachers sending students to the principals on a daily basis.

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Dd got a note ho e in kindergarten (an older teacher who taught k almost 20 years). The note read something like "dd scratched another child today and drew blood.". Surprised that dd did not get sent to principal but the rest of the story is the boy was pestering dd and told him to leave her alone several times. Boys mother never said anything either. Other schools or teachers would have suspended dd but teacher handled it life went on. The boy never messed with her again.

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Alot of this is heightened concern in the wake of school shootings. Schools get under fire for not doing enough or doing too little. They come under heat for not heeding "warning signs" but when they heed warning signs they get in trouble too. I used to have kids sent to me by teachers who were concerned and then parents freaked out when they learned their child was sent to the school counselor and would become argumentative with teachers and staff. We had a particularly disturbed student who had a parent head right out and secure a diagnosis when flags were raised. We then couldn't suspend him even when he threatened to kill teachers. We finally expelled him and his parents lawyered up. It was a mess.

 

It is out of control. Now little kids are getting suspended for being little kids. It was so out of control in our school that we could suspend some kids but not others. This was an honest conversation among admin that we could not take these actions if a child had a diagnosis or was a child with minority factors. We were a private school and they were ruled by online reviews. We had a child of color who was completely out of control and teachers let her throw things at other students, hide under desks, scream and so forth because of the color of her skin because her mom had threatened to sue and said we were racially profiling her daughter. This poor little girl needed help her mother wasn't giving her. As an 8 year old she spent so much time with me playing games and making crafts because I wasn't allowed to counsel her, we couldn't suspend her, she harmed kids so we had to separate them but nothing could be done. She was precious but deeply disturbed and needed help. The mother wouldn't believe anything said. One teacher finally took a video one day just to show her mother. This day the girl was tearing up other students work and screaming, throwing chairs and so forth. What did mom say when she saw it? She said she would sue the teacher for taking videos of her child and another child must have done something to make her daughter feel bad. I wish this was the only bizarre example I had at this school but there were so many.

 

Teachers and schools have no idea how to navigate the crazy paradox they are forced into. They have no confidence in serving kids in the way they think is best because they get mixed messages at every turn.

 

I decided when I left the last school I was at I would never again work in a school. I will always work private practice. I felt I could have, in theory, done more good in schools but they are run on fear of media, fear of parents and fear of lawsuits. It is total insanity. Some kids do nothing and get hard consequences and others can do just about anything with the right paperwork in place. I am just so happy we homeschool. Schools are not getting better regardless of policies put in place.

 

I am sorry Kinsa about your sister's situation. When these things happen to little children they form thoughts about themselves that stay with them a lifetime. It is not right or developmentally appropriate at all.

Edited by nixpix5
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It used to happen too in my neck of the woods.  I was suspended for 3 days for tardies, LOL.  Very logical consequence.  My brother was suspended for having cigarettes outside of school hours (he was 18).  Same brother was also suspended for drawing disrespectful pictures regarding teachers, back in middle school.  For us, it was kind of a badge of honor to get suspended, because the reasons were usually kind of dumb.

 

Maybe 10 years ago, my nephew was in a situation in the science lab.  He was constructing his science fair project and another student came over and intentionally busted it up.  Nephew got angry.  In nephew's hand was a tiny piece of vinyl that he had removed from a coated wire while constructing his project.  He "hit" the other student with this tiny piece of vinyl.  Then he admitted this when he was called into the principal's office.  They decided this was a "weapon" and suspended him for 6 months.  I should add that the other boy, who blackened my nephew's eye, was suspended for 3 days, because he had used his fist rather than a "weapon."  The 6 month suspension would have carried over to 8th grade graduation and into the next school year, where nephew was to start the international baccalaureate or whatever they call it.  So his parents (who are NOT wealthy) hired a lawyer and successfully appealed the suspension.  It was a huge deal.  It was my nephew's first and last school incident.

 

A couple years ago they were going to suspend my then-9yo kid for half a day (in-school) for allegedly stealing a piece of the classroom's math manipulatives.  (She claimed it was not intentional, but it also was a second offense.)  I talked to the principal and we agreed that the punishment was not age-appropriate.  He agreed to give her some work to do instead.  She washed the lunch tables for 6 days IIRC.

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It used to happen too in my neck of the woods. I was suspended for 3 days for tardies, LOL. Very logical consequence. My brother was suspended for having cigarettes outside of school hours (he was 18). Same brother was also suspended for drawing disrespectful pictures regarding teachers, back in middle school. For us, it was kind of a badge of honor to get suspended, because the reasons were usually kind of dumb.

 

Maybe 10 years ago, my nephew was in a situation in the science lab. He was constructing his science fair project and another student came over and intentionally busted it up. Nephew got angry. In nephew's hand was a tiny piece of vinyl that he had removed from a coated wire while constructing his project. He "hit" the other student with this tiny piece of vinyl. Then he admitted this when he was called into the principal's office. They decided this was a "weapon" and suspended him for 6 months. I should add that the other boy, who blackened my nephew's eye, was suspended for 3 days, because he had used his fist rather than a "weapon." The 6 month suspension would have carried over to 8th grade graduation and into the next school year, where nephew was to start the international baccalaureate or whatever they call it. So his parents (who are NOT wealthy) hired a lawyer and successfully appealed the suspension. It was a huge deal. It was my nephew's first and last school incident.

 

A couple years ago they were going to suspend my then-9yo kid for half a day (in-school) for allegedly stealing a piece of the classroom's math manipulatives. (She claimed it was not intentional, but it also was a second offense.) I talked to the principal and we agreed that the punishment was not age-appropriate. He agreed to give her some work to do instead. She washed the lunch tables for 6 days IIRC.

The story about your nephew is just crazy. Good for the parents for fighting it. And I’m glad you were able to get a more appropriate punishment for your daughter. Suspension for something like that and many other offenses mentioned here seems completely over the top, illogical, and counterproductive.

 

I don’t remember anyone ever getting suspended when I was in school. The most serious punishments in high school were being forced to miss sports practices or games or for extreme violations, getting kicked off a sports team. Sports were huge in my high school and almost everyone participated.

Edited by Frances
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Honestly, I don't think the incident with the niece is that weird either.  If a kid outbursts like that, it can be hard to know if a kid is safe to have in a classroom.  SOME parents need a wake up call like that to realize their kid needs some additional help and/or services.  Teachers aren't necessarily in a position to diagnose a child like that.  There can be many reasons for an outburst.  Teachers are already stretched thin, so I'm glad they have tools in place to remove a child that needs help out of the classroom.  It's not a teacher's job to realize that there is a medical issue if there was a loud and/or violent outburst during class time.  I think of elementary suspensions not as a huge negative thing but as a notification to the parents that there is a problem that needs addressing.  Not that there isn't cases of dumb suspensions, I'm just not sure this would be.  This is a child that is benefiting from treatment for a problem that was not previously known.  If the parents didn't know and weren't treating it, how would the school know?  Kids with IEP's may get different treatment in these circumstances if there is a known problem and solution that can be administered in class or maybe a kid needs an aide. 

 

For a middle school age kid, I don't think the finger gun violation is that unusual either.  I know someone asked to leave a homeschool activity last year for using language that included vague threats with a gun.   If this was a kid under age 9, I'd think it was silly and should be handled more with a discussion and maybe a mild punishment and a call to a parent. 

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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See, we do have them everywhere here except bathrooms. Elementary schools don't have locker rooms, so it isn't an issue on that front for the ages of Kinsa's relatives. There isn't anywhere that they can't see, unless the view happens to be partially blocked by walking past a pillar outside or something. It's very Big Brother, but with all of the security issues happening in the world, I can't blame them. 

 

My personal observation, while Dd attended our district, is that they did everything in their power NOT to suspend because they didn't want to lose the funding. Our district does not have alternative campuses, so if they resort to that they have to send the child to the neighboring district who does- but then that district takes the funding. I learned this when I questioned why a student who punched a teacher in one of dd's junior high classes wasn't moved to an alternative school (or suspended). That being said, I fully admit we're in a very affluent area in what is considered a top district and I have a feeling the kids are cut a bit more slack on the privilege front that in many surrounding areas. I have a friend who was a school psychologist here at one point and she told me that amount of scandals hushed up are amazing. I think money talks in these cases. You might not be able to easily sue a school, but the bad publicity and risk of ruining a district's name in the press probably carries a decent amount of weight around these parts. 

 

Well, I don't work in an Elem school.  Suspensions are much higher at the middle and high schools.

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My elder ds was suspended in 6th grade when he and his friends took too many paper towels from the bathroom dispenser (hot day, they wet them down).  It was destruction of school property.   :laugh:

 

I could not take the phone call seriously.  

  

 

 

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Just remembered, I was also suspended in 8th grade for "fighting."  Actually I did not throw a punch, but the bully (or her friends) would have killed me if I had let her get in trouble when I walked free, so I lied and said I had hit back.  The staff knew I was lying, but they let it stand.  3 days in-school suspension for being thrashed.

Edited by SKL

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Just remembered, I was also suspended in 8th grade for "fighting." Actually I did not throw a punch, but the bully (or her friends) would have killed me if I had let her get in trouble when I walked free, so I lied and said I had hit back. The staff knew I was lying, but they let it stand. 3 days in-school suspension for being thrashed.

That's horrible :(

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For my work I recently had a meeting with a representative of the police chief in our small town. He let me know that a major concern in our town is that when a high school kid gets suspended, their missed school work can not be made up. Missing more than a day or two in high school and not being able to make up the missing work often means that a struggling student is now failing their classes. Failing a class (or all of your classes after a 3 day suspension) means why try. Why even attend school for the rest of the quarter or semester if there’s no possibility of passing the class. So suspension leads to truancy and dropping out and all kinds troubles.

 

There must be a better way to deal with inappropriate behavior. What kind of punishment just allows kids to stay home and sleep in all week and then leaves them with no possiblility of graduating on time?

 

A friend recently cared for a young man who was suspended from elementary school for a week. She was able to work with him on his (very delayed) reading and math skills during the day. If she hadn’t been able to babysit for him, the boy would have stayed home alone playing video games all week while his single mother worked full time. My friend is a school board member and also said there’s got to be a better way to work with these kids!!

 

Does suspending a student accomplish anything?

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That does seem really strict, especially given their ages.  I get the 0 tolerance, but it seems like a better way of handling it would be through counseling or digging into the problem/issue, not isolating them.

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I grew up in a small town, and don't remember anyone ever being suspended from elementary or middle school. It would have been big news. We did have "in school suspensions", which were handed out pretty liberally in middle school, usually for disrupting class, arguing with a teacher, or fighting. In high school, I remember a handful of students being suspended for alcohol/drug offences. "Good kids" usually got off with a warning. 

 

Our local school district tends to be ahead of the curve, and has shifted away from "zero tolerance" and toward "behavior education" in the last few years. Looking briefly at their website, the number of suspensions and expulsions has decreased by around 50% since these changes came in. Dss has been attending public schools for the last three years, and I haven't heard about any of his friends or classmates getting suspended. I'll have to ask him. 

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I just met a mom last week whose 5yr dd was expelled from one of our local elementary schools for biting the finger of another student who wagged it in front of her face. The school called the police, the police called cps, and cps took her to the hospital. The mother was only notified about this by the hospital.

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I know of a student who was kicked out of school for being suicidal.  This year.

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When I was a kid, I don't think anyone was ever expelled, and certainly not for fake weapons.  Everyone had real knives in their pockets and high school kids and teachers had real guns in their trucks, so a finger gun was just... a finger. 

 

There were a lot of detentions and in-school suspensions among the rowdier high school kids who caused trouble in class or vandalized school property during pranks.  They sat in the principal's office doing their schoolwork for a few days.  The principal had been a prankster and a bit of a hellion when young, too, and he had a lot of patience with them, even though he was pretty stern about the in-school suspensions.  I remember his secretary telling me that one of them had mooned her while the principal was out to the restroom, but she didn't report it because the kid was in enough trouble already and she didn't want him to be expelled.  

 

 

 

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For my work I recently had a meeting with a representative of the police chief in our small town. He let me know that a major concern in our town is that when a high school kid gets suspended, their missed school work can not be made up. Missing more than a day or two in high school and not being able to make up the missing work often means that a struggling student is now failing their classes. Failing a class (or all of your classes after a 3 day suspension) means why try. Why even attend school for the rest of the quarter or semester if there’s no possibility of passing the class. So suspension leads to truancy and dropping out and all kinds troubles.

 

There must be a better way to deal with inappropriate behavior. What kind of punishment just allows kids to stay home and sleep in all week and then leaves them with no possiblility of graduating on time?

 

A friend recently cared for a young man who was suspended from elementary school for a week. She was able to work with him on his (very delayed) reading and math skills during the day. If she hadn’t been able to babysit for him, the boy would have stayed home alone playing video games all week while his single mother worked full time. My friend is a school board member and also said there’s got to be a better way to work with these kids!!

 

Does suspending a student accomplish anything?

In our school district, the student is still expected to complete work during this time and it is graded.

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Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended as non-disabled children.

 

Black children are three times more likely to be suspended than white children.

 

https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/data.html

 

And our district is trying to combat this by simply not allowing black boys to be suspended.  That way their statistics look better than the average.

 

It is a mess.  A huge mess.

 

So the black boys get in school suspension, which isn't the same thing, looks better on our records, etc.....at any given time you can go up to our office and see 10-12 black boys in there serving in school suspension.

 

There has to be something better......but our district won't fund a program for it.  Our district doesn't fund a whole lot.  It is beyond frustrating.

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I know of a student who was kicked out of school for being suicidal.  This year.

 

There has to be more to this story than a kid said he was suicidal.   Otherwise, this is a law suit waiting to happen.

Edited by DawnM
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That does seem really strict, especially given their ages.  I get the 0 tolerance, but it seems like a better way of handling it would be through counseling or digging into the problem/issue, not isolating them.

 

And that requires more personnel.  Most districts won't fund it.  

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I just met a mom last week whose 5yr dd was expelled from one of our local elementary schools for biting the finger of another student who wagged it in front of her face. The school called the police, the police called cps, and cps took her to the hospital. The mother was only notified about this by the hospital.

 

Where does the child go to school now?  

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From what i have observed it depends sort of on the teacher who sees it. Older teachers are more tolerant and can see a situation for what it is, handle it and move on. Younger teachers not so much.

 

But we all have to follow procedures and policy.  And this may be dependent on Elem. vs. Secondary as well.

 

I would HOPE that older teachers would also follow the same procedures and policies and not allow bullying or things to go on.

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For my work I recently had a meeting with a representative of the police chief in our small town. He let me know that a major concern in our town is that when a high school kid gets suspended, their missed school work can not be made up. Missing more than a day or two in high school and not being able to make up the missing work often means that a struggling student is now failing their classes. Failing a class (or all of your classes after a 3 day suspension) means why try. Why even attend school for the rest of the quarter or semester if there’s no possibility of passing the class. So suspension leads to truancy and dropping out and all kinds troubles.

 

There must be a better way to deal with inappropriate behavior. What kind of punishment just allows kids to stay home and sleep in all week and then leaves them with no possiblility of graduating on time?

 

A friend recently cared for a young man who was suspended from elementary school for a week. She was able to work with him on his (very delayed) reading and math skills during the day. If she hadn’t been able to babysit for him, the boy would have stayed home alone playing video games all week while his single mother worked full time. My friend is a school board member and also said there’s got to be a better way to work with these kids!!

 

Does suspending a student accomplish anything?

 

Ours will not put the kid on out of school suspension unless it was a criminal offense.

 

Any violent or drug offense on campus mean the dc becomes a homebound student until the judge decides the next placement. 

 

Whether the dc is on inschool suspension, out of school suspension, or homebound, they must complete the work if they want to be eligiwble for credit for the course or a future placement in night high school or alternative school.  There is no summer school for students who reason that they can be truant or nonworking all year, then come to summer school for a few weeks, do the least amount possible, and get credit and grad.

 

The bigger problem here is the why try? attitude....why try, I can't win, so I won't play the game.  Then they try to spread it... 'you're a fool, doing all that work when you only need to do enough to pass'.  Gepetto is busy showing Pinocchio options, but all those kids with no active dads aren't getting anywhere and aren't buying in that they need to gain skill.  In my day, Coach took care of all that at football practice...but we didn't have rural megahigh schools back then...these days with sports dropped as 'nonessential' and 'too expensive', there is no one to put these young men in line. 

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Where does the child go to school now?

To a private school associated with the hospital for troubled kids. The child is picking up terrible behaviors at this program. The school does not want her to return until she completed the program. The program is not giving her updates on when she will be considered completed.

 

I think she needs a lawyer, but doesn’t have the funds for one.

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I can't help but notice that whenever one of these discussions comes up in one of my local parenting groups, there is extreme shaming of parents whose kids were suspended along the lines that the incident must be much worse than they're letting on, the child is probably a danger to his peers, and the parents are poor disciplinarians and this is their fault.

 

It makes me feel really bad for parents in that position.

 

I think it partially has to do with the fact that the absolute focus on meeting academic benchmarks means that teachers and administrators don't feel like they have the time to resolve conflicts and solve problems. And I have little faith in a society that doesn't equip children with those skills, no matter how well they may score on tests. (That they still don't is a whole 'nother story.)

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I don't think suspensions are very common around here. There is no one at home during the day to care for them. In school suspension was pretty common in middle school. Elementary kids who are super disruptive end up with the principal or counselor or in another teacher's room. Maybe an act of actual violence would get an elementary kid a suspension - like throwing a chair. Most likely the child has a known problem with a behavior plan already in place and so you would just follow that. 

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