Suspensions won't solve bullying

May 06, 2010

While employed as a school administrator in Baltimore, I constantly heard the refrain "If only you would suspend these 'bad' kids, I could teach." This notion never seemed to expand to contemplate the outcome for the suspended and expelled students. Eventually, these "throw-away" kids become problematic in the community and end up in the penal system creating a lifelong drain of public resources. While back in the classroom, the teacher finds a new segment of "bad" kids she would like to shed.

Since there are no "throw-away kids," public schools must make accommodations for chronically misbehaving kids, including bullies ("Schoolyard bullies," May 5). We have effectively employed in-school suspension and had access to alternative schools like Francis M. Wood. Now there is a great need to have alternative schools and programs at the elementary and middle schools, where unreported numbers of kids begin dropping out after repeated suspensions.

No one would think it rational to remove a person with a troubling illness from a medical facility, but many find it reasonable to remove an individual in need of behavior modification from the place dedicated to changing behavior.

Arthur Pierce, Randallstown

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