State school board to review effects of long-term suspensions, expulsions

December 11, 2009|By Liz Bowie | liz.bowie@baltsun.com

The Maryland state school board is beginning a major review of statewide policies on long-term suspensions and expulsions after concerns over a case involving a student who was suspended for nearly an entire school year without being given any access to public education.

In reviewing the Dorchester County case earlier this year, the state board decided it was deeply concerned by the failure to provide some education to a student during the suspension.

The review comes after the Baltimore school board adopted a hard-line policy giving its CEO the right to permanently expel a student. The CEO can even expel students younger than 16 in some limited circumstances.

During the review, the state board's staff plans to review local and national data on the long-term effects of suspensions and expulsions, look at the practices of local school systems and ask a wide range of the public to comment.

"We were very troubled by the implications of a student being expelled for a long period of time and then being reintroduced to [the school] without anything having changed," said James H. DeGraffenreidt Jr., president of the board.

The state board will be presented with a final report in July.

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