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High rate of students suspended in Y’town, Warren

Published: Fri, November 9, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Youngstown school officials work to bolster students

By Denise Dick



Ohio Department of Education records show high numbers of student suspensions in the Mahoning Valley’s two largest school districts.

For the 2010-11 school year, the most recent data available, the Youngstown district reported 2,302 discipline occurrences that resulted in out-of-school suspensions, and 302 occurrences for which students got in-school suspension, according to the ODE website.

An additional 44 occurrences resulted in emergency removal of the student.

Disobedient or disruptive behavior was the most common reason for discipline.

The district, which numbered 6,088 students that year, was 67 percent black, 17 percent white and 10 percent Hispanic students. Ninety-two percent of the students are economically disadvantaged.

Warren saw 2,647 out-of-school suspensions in 2010-2011, 4,972 in-school suspensions and 14 emergency removals.

As in Youngstown, the most common discipline issue reported was disobedient or disruptive behavior.

The Warren district with 5,368 students was 46 percent white, 41 percent black, 2 percent Hispanic and 75 percent economically disadvantaged in 2010-11.

All of the discipline numbers are per incident, meaning that one student could have been suspended more than once.

Aaron Schwab, a spokesman for Warren City Schools, says his district’s suspension and discipline numbers look high because of the way the district reports them.

“If a student gets a three-day suspension, we report that as three incidents,” he said.

Youngstown reports a three-day out of school suspension as one incident, Karen Ingraham, that district’s spokeswoman said.

“As far as an apples-to- apples comparison of school districts, I don’t think there is one,” Schwab said. “Every school district has a different policy on discipline and how it’s handled.”

By comparison, Boardman and Austintown school districts reported 88 and 50 out-of-school suspensions, respectively, in the 2010-11 school year, according to the state. Austintown also reported 12 in-school suspensions that year.

At a school board meeting last month, Marcia Haire-Ellis, a Youngstown school board member, recommended a resolution at a future meeting to replace out-of-school suspensions with an alternative. Though she didn’t identify an alternative, she referred to an organization that advocates in-school suspensions as an option.

The higher number of black and Latino students suspended compared with white students was a discussion topic at a Council of Urban Boards of Education conference last month in Atlanta attended by some board members.

Youngstown Superintendent Connie Hathorn said some of city schools offer in-school suspension, where students are removed from class but remain in the school building.

If students behave inappropriately, they have to be removed from class or they disrupt learning for other students, he said.

“What we need to look at is what’s causing them to misbehave,” Hathorn said.

For both Warren and Youngstown, students’ ninth-grade year sees the most discipline.

Youngstown’s ninth-graders are housed in a separate wing at East High School and learn in pods to foster a small-school environment to try to address those younger students’ needs. The same teachers instruct those students for two years in an effort to create a family-like relationship.


1southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, now I wonder why? Behaving inappropriately according to the article?

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2MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I do like the "pod" concept. While traditional concepts hold that the more diverse a learning environment is the more socialization will occur, the fact is that children lack focus. Teachers lack any real standardized method. The school system doesn't meet the needs of today's youth because today's youth doesn't meet the same standard as earlier generations. Corporal punishment at home, in school, and in the community is as dead as the dodo. So discipline suffers. If you have a generation that lacks the discipline to fit squarely into a squared and standardized learning environment, then you must fit roundly into a curved one. Cohort learning builds peer groups and teacher student relationships far better than traditional models. It reflects a more modern approach that boarders on the types of team building that you see in advanced military training programs. You want a group to succeed, don't just let the strong and smart roll over the weak. Move them forward together and watch how the slower movers get faster. Make it dependent on itself and at the same time, foster competition.
Most of us can remember when teachers would say, "I just have to deal with you for one year..." Then what? Society deals with them for a generation. I've received these forgotten children as adults. It takes a lot to undo the tangled mess left behind when parents, teachers, and church fail a person for 18 years.

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3DwightK(1535 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Good Parent = "What did my child do and how can we make sure he / she doesn't do it again?"

Bad Parent = "Why are you picking on my child?"

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4redeye1(5615 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

DwightK I normally don't agree with you , but that is a great post

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5redvert(2239 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

DwightK, I think your comment reflects a big part of the problem.

I am from a couple generations ago and if I got detention I was sure to take it at lunchtime cause I did not want to have to explain why I would of been kept after school. Today the parents just do not want to take any responsibility. The necessity of both parents working does not help either.

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6JoeFromHubbard(1776 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

@ Littledick :
>> people you see in Youngstown is poor. Shouldn't that be a bigger issue than kids fighting<<

Wealth, or lack of it, has little to do with, and is no excuse for, bad behavior.

My shop teacher at Princeton Junior Hi had a part time job, at school, making paddles because the teachers broke so many.

We had very few problems back then because the kids listened to their teachers and parents (that's parentS, as in 2 per child.)

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7jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Schools should be allowed to use a "DNR" status like hospitals. Only call it "NCE" or Not Capable of Education. Students so classified would be issued a $500 voucher and told to come back in a year. This would improve test scores.

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8TonyB(38 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Teens will act out in improved civic behavior, the evidence is in, given an outlet for Restorative Community Justice by teens, of teens and for teens schools suspension rates are usually cut in half by the teens themselves. If you don't believe it, then READ THIS:



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9VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Teens act out against neighbors and society because they know there is no subsequent penalty for their behavior. They ignore teachers and school work, steal from fellow students, from their neighbors and from local businesses. I know of local stores that have an entire page listing children who are banned from entering their stores. They still come anyway.

I once had some damage done to my property and called the police. They sent an officer, who informed me they received damage calls from several neighbors down the street as well. Everyone in the neighborhood knew who's children were the culprits, because they were always out in the street late at night, way past their bedtime, looking for trouble. But the police officer refused to talk to them. He said we had no proof and no witnesses, just file it with your insurance company.

So, that's it...we just accept it...file it with our insurance company and let children run (ruin) our lives.

The ironic end to this post is the fact that we now spend more time in teaching our pets how to behave than we do our children.

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