TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Baltimore County says about one in every 10 students was suspended at some point in the last school year.

The county’s suspension rate was the highest of any Maryland district apart from the Eastern Shore and even surpasses the rate in Baltimore City. About 10,000 students were suspended. The largest category that drew suspensions was for disrespect, insubordination and causing disruption.

County school superintendent Joe Hairston tells The Baltimore Sun that the district has succeeded in recent years in lowering the suspension rate, but that it remains an ongoing concern.

The Maryland State Department of Education says 6.8 percent of students across the state were suspended last school year. The rate in Dorchester County was 14 percent, while it was just 2.6 percent in Montgomery County.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. Bill says:

    I wonder if we could get statistics on a school to school basis. This sounds very disturbing. I wonder if disrespect is in violation of their rights? 1/10 seems very high,even for Baltimore City?

  2. Mary Larichiuta says:

    Disrespect is a polite way of saying cursing profusely at the teachers or other adults in the building. In order for a student to be suspended for disruption, disrespect and/or insubordination, the offenses must be heinous and chronic. Trust me, the rights being violated are not those of the students who are the offenders, but rather those of the students who are well behaved and trying to get an education.

  3. peterpan says:

    WJZ, Give the full facts, it’s mostly the coon tree jumpers that are the problem coming up from the city.

  4. involvedparent says:

    Two years ago, a BC elementary school child was suspended because a boy put his hand under her clothes. She apparently asked for his hand up her shirt because she had teased him earlier in the day about his fly being open. The boy was not suspended. The boy did the same thing later in the year to my daughter and the admin desperately tried to accuse her of doing something that caused his behavior. He came up from behind her and slid his hand under her shirt. It took awhile for me to convince my daughter that no boy (or girl) can put their hands under her clothes without her permission, regardless of what BC admin told her. The BC middle school she’s in now is so different and so well run. Not all BC schools have admins who are incompetent when dealing with everyday school situations. But some are and they often use suspensions inapproriately and ineffectively. Maybe the county should require all principals, asst principals and guidance counselors to have degrees in child psych & education (double major or two separate degrees) with extra coursework in school admin., not educ and admin degrees with child psych coursework. Child psych and education first/admin second. Also, BC should provide intensive training for high suspension admins to teach them more effective ways of dealing with students. This includes pairing them up (say once a week) with low suspension rate principals or principals in other counties (like HC) to see first hand effective ways to interact with students.

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