Pubdate: Thu, 17 Nov 2005
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Contact:  http://simcoereformer.ca/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2386
Author: Samantha Craggs

SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS ON THE RISE

12 Per Cent Increase In High Schools

More students found themselves staying home last year with a slight increase
in the number of suspensions handed out by principals in the Grand Erie
District School Board (GEDSB).

Suspensions in elementary schools increased by about 10 per cent in
2004-05 compared to the previous school year. High school suspensions
increased 12 per cent.

The reasons are hard to pinpoint. Suspensions of less than 20 days are
given at the principal's discretion, and some principals favour them
more than others, says superintendent Greg Anderson.

"We obviously do counsel principals if we notice more of them,"
Anderson told trustees Monday.

Students at GEDSB high schools were suspended for 8,562 days last year
in 3,785 incidents. Elementary incidents accounted for 4,064
suspensions, or 6,943 days. High schools saw 23 limited expulsions,
which are suspensions lasting more than 21 days. There were no full
expulsions.

Five acts come with mandatory suspensions: possessing illegal drugs or
alcohol, being under the influence of alcohol, swearing, uttering a
threat or vandalism. Offences that may result in suspension, at the
discretion of the principal, are habitual neglect of duty, conduct
injurious to a school's moral tone, use of profane or improper
language, conduct injurious to a student's well-being, persistent
opposition to authority, persistent truancy and wilful destruction of
school property.

Valley Heights Secondary School topped Norfolk County schools for the
number of limited expulsions. There were two for possessing a weapon,
one for physical assault requiring treatment and one for committing
sexual assault. There were 226 suspensions given, the most common
offence being persistent opposition to authority.

Waterford District High School had one limited expulsion in the
category of trafficking in weapons or illegal drugs. There were 155
suspensions. They were most commonly given for conduct injurious to a
student's well-being and conduct injurious to the school's moral tone.

There were no expulsions and 455 suspensions at Simcoe Composite
School. The most common offences were persistent opposition to
authority and habitual neglect of duty.

Delhi District Secondary School had no expulsions, but saw 170
suspensions. They were commonly for persistent opposition to
authority. Port Dover Composite had 162 suspensions. The most common
offences were conduct injurious to a school's moral tone and
persistent truancy. There were no expulsions.

Hagersville Secondary School had five limited expulsions and 278
suspensions.

Suspensions at Norfolk County elementary schools ranged from four at
Boston Public School to 154 at Elgin Avenue and 130 at Lynndale
Heights. The most common offences at the latter schools were conduct
injurious to a student's well-being.

Brant County trustee Bill Johnston remarked on the irony of giving
suspensions for persistent truancy.

"I ask about that every year and every year I just enjoy hearing the
answer," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin