Daunting report on discipline coming before school board

February 02, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

From September 1991 to June 1992, 14,000 Anne Arundel County students were written up for behavior problems. Of those, 5,200 were suspended, 273 expelled.

Those daunting numbers, combined with fears that students are not being punished severely enough and that black students are disproportionately singled out, are discussed in a report on student discipline being presented to the county Board of Education tomorrow.

Like many school systems across the country, Anne Arundel faces increasing discipline problems, ranging from disruptive behavior to fighting to possessing weapons.

Statistics collected by the Committee for Education Equity and Community Relations, a school watchdog group, show 14,000 students were written up for referrals -- fighting, insubordination, use of foul language or truancy -- last school year. Of those, 70 percent were males and 26 percent were black.

Of the 5,200 students suspended, 74 percent were males, 31 percent black.

And of the 273 students expelled -- for offenses ranging from assault with weapons to drug and alcohol abuse -- 80 percent were male, and 41 percent were black.

Teachers and other school staff have complained that punishments often are not severe enough. Students who display violent behavior are only sometimes suspended, they say, and often those suspensions do not prove a deterrent for violent behavior.

Often, students expelled from one school are simply readmitted to another, without having their problems addressed by counselors or other professionals, the report says.

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