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Youngstown school system still plagued by suspensions

Published: Sun, November 24, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

A year ago, we made the following observation about the shockingly large number of suspensions in the Youngstown City School System: Dysfunctional students are contributing to the failure of the school district.

The state report cards based on the proficiency tests support our view: academic emergency; academic watch; and, the latest, five F’s, 2 D’s and 2 C’s.

But we also had a suggestion for dealing with the epidemic of student misbehavior: Ask the Ohio Department of Education to send in experts to assess the situation, with the goal of developing a program that would remove the disruptive and disobedient students from the schools.

That apparently wasn’t done — and today’s report on suspensions is just as troubling.

In September and October, a total of 758 suspension days were recorded in several schools, including East High and Chaney. The reasons for the suspensions include insubordination, fighting and disruptive behavior.

Not good

The report, submitted by Superintendent Connie Hathorn to the academic distress commission, triggered this response from Chairwoman Adrienne O’Neill: “This isn’t good for kids.”

We trust she was referring to the students who go to school seeking an education and not the ones who have no interest in learning.

To be sure, they should not be cut loose from the district because having them on the streets of the city is a recipe for disaster .

O’Neill has asked the principals of the schools plagued by disruptive students to get together and develop a plan to reduce the number of suspension days. That isn’t a bad idea, but given the history of the Youngstown district, nothing but extreme measures will work.

Returning students to the classroom after they have served their suspensions should be a one-time proposition. The next incident should result in removal from school.


1NoBS(2845 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Your opening revelation is, well, shocking! "The troublemakers are making the schools look bad!"

Here's a different view on what to do about the miscreants who are dragging down the entire system: Stop allowing them to interrupt the actual learning that goes on!!! Create a school just for the problem children, and get them out of the regular classrooms. Then watch the ones who want to learn, but cannot because of the actions of the ones who don't want to be there, don't want to learn anything, and don't want anyone else to, either.

What's the first step when dealing with a problem? Isolate the problem. That's what the city school system needs to do.

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2Millerh113(218 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Putting disruptive student in a separate school has been tried -- unsuccessfully.
Who wants to teach in a school full of delinquents! I agree with the Vindy's editorial -- Get them out of the system. Of course some bleeding heart will say they are being deprived of an education. The teachers are afraid of the principals, the principals are afraid of the superintendent, the superintendent is afraid of the Board of Education, and the kids? they ain't afraid of anybody.

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3NoBS(2845 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Until the kids reach a certain age (16?) they HAVE to go to school. And if they tried separating the thugs from the kids who want to learn, and failed, they weren't doing it right. "Who wants to teach a school full of delinquents?" How about a boot camp full of attitudes that need adjusted? Think about this: a live-in school not only takes the thugs out of their element - da hood - but it also makes their former hoods a little safer by removing them from it.

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4alees(2 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

In the old days the boot camp for delinquents was called the Reform School.

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5southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Everything starts at home with the parents...

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