Suspensions rise at Hamilton public schools

News Dec 07, 2017 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Suspensions at Hamilton public schools are up for the second year in a row, although details remain thin on the reasons for many of the timeouts.

The latest Positive Culture and Well-Being Report shows there were 3,573 suspensions for the 2016-17 school year, 363 more than the year before.

Unlike in the past, the report doesn’t break down the numbers by school level or gender, or provide figures on students receiving multiple suspensions.

But it does once again use the catch-all “other board-set infraction” category for 2,069 of the suspensions.

Where specific reasons are given, the biggest increases from the year before were for fighting or violence — 772 compared to 593 — and bullying, with the 140 up from 89.

Other sizable suspension categories included swearing at 245 infractions, uttering threats at136 and drug or alcohol possession at 90.

Board chair Todd White said trustees have repeatedly asked for more details on the “other board-set infraction” category and he will ask for the report to be revised.

“We’ve requested that change more than enough at this point,” he said, noting the report’s 18 suspension categories don’t align with the 16 in the board’s student behaviour and discipline policy.

Among those missing are bomb threats, non-consensual sharing of intimate images and harmful use of social media.

White said the board needs to use clear and consistent data to allow it to address problem areas, and the “other” category doesn’t allow that.

“For me, having ‘other’ being the No. 1 concern in our schools is not acceptable,” he said. “How can we tackle ‘other’?”

The report shows expulsion also rose, with the 22 up by four from the year before, but still below the 30 two years ago.

As with suspensions, it provides fewer explanations for expulsions than in the past, only identifying breaches of board or school codes of conduct for 10 of the 22.

For the remainder, it only shows that there were either zero or fewer than 10 expulsions in 11 other categories.

Despite rising last year, suspensions were still well below the 5,524 recorded for the 2008-09 school year. They dropped in all but one of the six subsequent years, to 3,164 in 2014-15, before edging up the past two years.

Previous reports have shown elementary-grade boys are more than four times as likely to be suspended as girls, with the rate more than double for high school boys.


Suspensions rise at Hamilton public schools

Chair frustrated as annual report once again lists ‘other’ as main infraction

News Dec 07, 2017 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Suspensions at Hamilton public schools are up for the second year in a row, although details remain thin on the reasons for many of the timeouts.

The latest Positive Culture and Well-Being Report shows there were 3,573 suspensions for the 2016-17 school year, 363 more than the year before.

Unlike in the past, the report doesn’t break down the numbers by school level or gender, or provide figures on students receiving multiple suspensions.

But it does once again use the catch-all “other board-set infraction” category for 2,069 of the suspensions.

For me, having ‘other’ being the No. 1 concern in our schools is not acceptable.

Where specific reasons are given, the biggest increases from the year before were for fighting or violence — 772 compared to 593 — and bullying, with the 140 up from 89.

Other sizable suspension categories included swearing at 245 infractions, uttering threats at136 and drug or alcohol possession at 90.

Board chair Todd White said trustees have repeatedly asked for more details on the “other board-set infraction” category and he will ask for the report to be revised.

“We’ve requested that change more than enough at this point,” he said, noting the report’s 18 suspension categories don’t align with the 16 in the board’s student behaviour and discipline policy.

Among those missing are bomb threats, non-consensual sharing of intimate images and harmful use of social media.

White said the board needs to use clear and consistent data to allow it to address problem areas, and the “other” category doesn’t allow that.

“For me, having ‘other’ being the No. 1 concern in our schools is not acceptable,” he said. “How can we tackle ‘other’?”

The report shows expulsion also rose, with the 22 up by four from the year before, but still below the 30 two years ago.

As with suspensions, it provides fewer explanations for expulsions than in the past, only identifying breaches of board or school codes of conduct for 10 of the 22.

For the remainder, it only shows that there were either zero or fewer than 10 expulsions in 11 other categories.

Despite rising last year, suspensions were still well below the 5,524 recorded for the 2008-09 school year. They dropped in all but one of the six subsequent years, to 3,164 in 2014-15, before edging up the past two years.

Previous reports have shown elementary-grade boys are more than four times as likely to be suspended as girls, with the rate more than double for high school boys.


Suspensions rise at Hamilton public schools

Chair frustrated as annual report once again lists ‘other’ as main infraction

News Dec 07, 2017 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Suspensions at Hamilton public schools are up for the second year in a row, although details remain thin on the reasons for many of the timeouts.

The latest Positive Culture and Well-Being Report shows there were 3,573 suspensions for the 2016-17 school year, 363 more than the year before.

Unlike in the past, the report doesn’t break down the numbers by school level or gender, or provide figures on students receiving multiple suspensions.

But it does once again use the catch-all “other board-set infraction” category for 2,069 of the suspensions.

For me, having ‘other’ being the No. 1 concern in our schools is not acceptable.

Where specific reasons are given, the biggest increases from the year before were for fighting or violence — 772 compared to 593 — and bullying, with the 140 up from 89.

Other sizable suspension categories included swearing at 245 infractions, uttering threats at136 and drug or alcohol possession at 90.

Board chair Todd White said trustees have repeatedly asked for more details on the “other board-set infraction” category and he will ask for the report to be revised.

“We’ve requested that change more than enough at this point,” he said, noting the report’s 18 suspension categories don’t align with the 16 in the board’s student behaviour and discipline policy.

Among those missing are bomb threats, non-consensual sharing of intimate images and harmful use of social media.

White said the board needs to use clear and consistent data to allow it to address problem areas, and the “other” category doesn’t allow that.

“For me, having ‘other’ being the No. 1 concern in our schools is not acceptable,” he said. “How can we tackle ‘other’?”

The report shows expulsion also rose, with the 22 up by four from the year before, but still below the 30 two years ago.

As with suspensions, it provides fewer explanations for expulsions than in the past, only identifying breaches of board or school codes of conduct for 10 of the 22.

For the remainder, it only shows that there were either zero or fewer than 10 expulsions in 11 other categories.

Despite rising last year, suspensions were still well below the 5,524 recorded for the 2008-09 school year. They dropped in all but one of the six subsequent years, to 3,164 in 2014-15, before edging up the past two years.

Previous reports have shown elementary-grade boys are more than four times as likely to be suspended as girls, with the rate more than double for high school boys.