Weighing the Cost of School Suspensions in Massachusetts

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting recently reported findings detailing disciplinary trends within the public education system of Massachusetts. According to the analysis, almost 200,000 school days were lost to out-of-school and in-school suspensions and expulsions during the 2009-2010 school year. The organization said that days lost to suspension or expulsions during the timeframe were equal to about 10 percent of the 172 million school days accumulated by the state’s nearly 1 million public school students. The analysis reports that while the Boston school system is more likely to expel students permanently, the Worchester school system ultimately totaled up more lost school days due to disciplinary actions, with approximately 5,000 lost school days compared to the capital city’s estimated 2,765. The analysis also found that more than 2,000 students, some as young as age 4, were suspended from the state’s early elementary programs, which entails pre-kindergarten to third grade classes.

Source: LSU Players Face Suspension for Synthetic Marijuana Use

Three Louisiana State University football players have been placed on suspension after testing positive for synthetic marijuana, a source told the New Orleans Times Picayune. Running back Spencer Ware along with cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon will be suspended for Saturday’s game against Auburn University, and possibly longer, according to the unnamed source. The story was first reported by LSU's student newspaper, The Daily Reveille. Worried fans have been voicing their concerns on message boards and forums around the Internet. The suspensions come about two weeks before No.

Sheila Bedi On a Federal Initiative to Keep Students in Schools and Off the Streets

We all want our schools to be safe and orderly. Our teachers should be able to focus on teaching and our children should be able to focus on learning. Sadly though, the effort to instill greater discipline into our schools has backfired. Instead of creating classrooms conducive to learning, schools have enacted policies that criminalize students and force teachers to spend more time on classroom management than teaching –- an approach that better prepares students to be inmates than members of the workforce. Currently, this country imprisons 2.2 million people -– the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Cherie Miller On Suspensions, Zero Tolerance and the Wood Shed

When my husband Steve was in middle school he got caught one day sneaking off campus. The principal later called him to the office on the intercom. Punishment, a paddling, was in waiting and everyone knew it, so the students responded with an “ooooohh!”

This otherwise good student was suddenly famous. In one stroke of brilliance, and in one good spanking, he achieved what every other kid in his Georgia school sought — coolness — the very opposite of the school’s intent. Gone, mostly, are the days of paddling -- just as well, it didn’t seem to work anyway – replaced by more… prosaic punishments.