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CA lawmakers reconsidering `zero-tolerance’ student discipline laws

By Katy Murphy
Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm in safety and discipline, students.

As we reported in a story this week about the number of California school kids who received an out-of-school suspension in a single school year, the state’s public schools are required, by law, to suspend or expel kids who are caught selling drugs, brandishing a knife, possessing a firearm or explosive, or sexually assaulting someone.

Assembly Bill 2537, introduced by Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) — as introduced  – would remove that requirement, with the exception of the firearm and explosives offenses. In essence, the legislation would leave it up to school officials to decide on the appropriate disciplinary action. It would also lift a requirement that principals report illegal activities to legal authorities; the failure to do so now constitutes an infraction.

Lastly, it requires a governing board’s decision to expel a student to be based not only on the act, itself, but on the grounds that “other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct.”

A vote on this bill is scheduled for next week.

Another bill, AB 2242, from Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) would remove “defiance” as grounds for an out-of-school suspension (but would still allow schools to place students under a supervised in-school suspension as a consequence for willfully defying authority). The Associated Press reported last week that 40 percent of California school suspensions are given for that reason.

Dickinson’s bill passed out of the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday (7-3 vote) and heads next to Appropriations.

Do you support either of these bills?

A statement from Perez’s office:

“Zero tolerance policies were written over a decade ago with the best of intentions – to prevent school violence,” said Pérez. “However, the way the policy is written has resulted in an epidemic of suspensions and expulsions. My bill seeks to empower our local schools to determine appropriate punishments, while still maintaining school safety and complying with federal requirements. I am committed to working with the Committee and stakeholders to determine appropriate amendments and look forward to next week’s vote.”

Current zero tolerance laws require that students must always be suspended or expelled if they commit an offense from a list that is general in description, depriving schools the ability to determine individualized disciplinary actions. The result is that many students are being expelled or suspended from school for low-level offenses – such as dress code violations and cell phone usage. In the 2009-2010 school year, 750,000 out-of-school “zero tolerance” based punishments were given.

 

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  • del

    A number of points have been brought up, and I will try to address most of them. First of all, I have again been accused of bringing in race as a factor when it is not warranted. That is blatantly false, we know exactly who our educational institutions have been succeeding with and failing with—in fact the original article addresses that. To think we could just track all the kids and that would somehow alleviate racial disparity is the most foolish thing I’ve seen in this forum. Obviously the data is already there and it shows that if we tracked the kids, their track would be generally identifiable by race (obviously exceptions would exist). This is not to say that honors & AP classes should not exist—they are a must! But we need to make sure that EVERYONE has access to them if they are ready for them.
    The problems with even lightweight tracking are extensive. First of all, how do we identify the kids? AC Mom’s experience with IQ tests would be blatantly illegal under California law. Tests won’t do it authentically anyway, it only shows who is a good tester. And what about the kids who struggle with English but excel at math? Schools are not large enough, well funded enough, or flexible enough to allow a kid to take various tracks 99% of the time. For example, geometry is an advanced elective at many middle schools in Oakland (a ridiculously advanced elective, mind you). When offered, it is generally only offered one period a day. What if that one period is at the same time as advanced band? Tough choice. But if it is offered at a time when the student’s track is remedial reading, what gives? This is a downside of ANY decision that affects the master schedule—key electives are always telling, someone is excluded! That is one thing if advanced kids are forced to make a choice between advanced electives at a high school level when they can easily take the classes in college. However that is not the case for kids (identified as) struggling. They won’t get access to those advanced classes if there is tracking. In fact, it’s the definition of tracking: you can’t get to SF on the Dublin bound train—it’s on the wrong track!
    Seconds, how does tracking feel for the kids on the “low” track? Would they really increase achievement? And would they really get the teachers they need?

    In terms of “wanting to learn,” Teaches at Oakland School is exactly right, for as long as there has been school, there have been favorite classes & teachers, and some that are less so. However, let’s be clear, a good teacher can inspire any kid, no matter the subject! Beyond that (and avoiding the debate about teacher quality), we know these kids are truly motivated to learn because of what they go through to get to school. Go to any transit center in Oakland—the place is POPPING with teenagers, it looks way more fun than school. Yet they still get on that bus/bart and make it there everyday. Really, I think that your argument goes back to tracking—we have tracked these kids already for a “college or bust” track. It is not responsive to our community or our kids, and it only takes a 30 second conversation to see that. However, our board members have been clear that to graduate high school you have to have met the entrance requirements for a CSU. I do not know of a single school employee or education expert who thinks that’s a good idea. Ask Ms. Spearman above, she and her colleagues are the ones who made it mandatory.
    In terms of the point of suspension, again, that is not clear. Many people responded to me saying that the point is not to affect the suspended child, it is for the betterment of the community. However, that is the opposite argument of the posts before mine and on the other thread. It is punitive, it is a punishment. That’s the law. If it is truly to help the rest of the long suffering kids in the classroom, why are the main offenses related to assault, weapons, and drugs? With extremely rare exception, those things are not happening in class. No one is stabbing kids in class while the rest of the class writes an essay, no one is smoking crack while everyone around is taking a test. No one that I am aware of is suspending kids for talking too much in class. And if they are, they will be hearing from their bosses very quickly.
    I will never say it is easy, but I also have 30+ years working in OUSD & another 12 as a student, and I can say it is more than possible. It can even be done with grace: if you are the adult in the classroom, you can handle the childish behavior that is bound to happen in class. You can provide the structures the students crave. You can differentiate in a way that challenges the gifted and supports the struggling. It happens all the time. It may be the exception rather than the rule, but that is true in every district.
    On this board/forum, we love the kids. We want what’s best for the kids (although I think we are very far from agreeing as to “what’s best” for public education). But the key word is WE—we have to do it. There are no external answers, no superman or suspension will save us or these kids. And as soon as we start looking for someone else to do our job, we are teaching the kids to look for excuses and teaching them to quit.

  • Let’s Get Real

    Del, I’m really curious about the schools where you have taught in Oakland for 30+ years and have managed to handle every disciplinary issue that has arisen in your classroom and guide every student to academic proficiency–all by yourself!

    Perhaps you don’t intend to make that claim, but it sounds as if you are, and that, as far as you’re concerned, teachers who don’t reach your level of perfection need to step aside.

    The great majority of (if not all) teachers in Oakland–including the most excellent–have faced at one time or another students who carry with them various combinations of social, emotional, mental, or psychological problems that manifest as disruptive behavior in a classroom. At times, those students have had to be removed from class in order to effectively teach the remaining students.

    If state or district officials want to remove suspension as a disciplinary option, something EFFECTIVE must be put in place as an alternative. It is unfair to the majority of students who DO come to school expecting to enjoy a peaceful learning environment to have time wasted by a few students who–even if the reasons are beyond their control–are disruptive.

    Back to you, Del, I’d be more inclined to believe that you really teach in Oakland if you name your school, and/or give your real name. I realize there are a few schools in Oakland that are relatively removed from large populations of troubled students–where teachers may not be exposed to many such issues. If you are teaching at one of those schools, you should not look condescendingly at those who are doing the best they can in a more challenging environment.

  • Katy Murphy

    I’d be curious to know if many OUSD schools use in-school suspensions — or if some have developed other ways to deal with/work with extremely disruptive students, in the moment they’re being disruptive. The report was specifically criticizing the widespread use of out-of-school suspensions.

  • Let’s Get Real

    Katy, I think most schools (elementary, at least) are inclined to use in-school suspension. Teachers have the right to suspend students from their classrooms. Administrators decide whether to suspend them from school. And administrators try to avoid high suspension rates.

    If a student is suspended from class at our school (which is not frequent, but does happen), he or she may spend the rest of the day (and possibly the next day) in another teacher’s classroom. This is not an ideal arrangement, as it is somewhat inconvenient for the teacher and class receiving the extra student. A packet of work is sent with the student so that he/she does not have to interrupt classroom instruction.

  • Katy Murphy

    Based on your experience and what you’ve heard from your fellow teachers, when do you feel that an out-of-school suspension’s necessary? What are the benefits and costs of using that option?

  • Let’s Get Real

    I would recommend an out-of-school suspension if a student’s behavior has posed a danger to others, or if, in lesser offenses, other measures, such as in-house suspensions, have proven to be ineffective for a particular student. An out-of-school suspension becomes part of a student’s record and can generate more concern–and therefore a stronger response–from a parent.

    I understand that, especially with older students who may spend their suspension unsupervised, the main beneficiaries are the teacher (who can teach more effectively) and the other students (who can learn more and learn in peace) in the suspended student’s class. A suspension is an absence, so schools receive no funds for students for the days they are out.

    Some things that can help keep suspensions of any kind to a minimum: Smaller class sizes; parent support AT HOME (parents have high expectations of student behavior–and hold their children accountable for their actions); extra academic support for students in need (so they feel successful in their efforts); counseling services. Note that all of the school-centered factors have been compromised (or virtually eliminated) due to decreased funding. So besides the effective alternative I suggested in my earlier post that state or district officials need to put in place if they seek to eliminate suspension as an option, they also (and more importantly) must redirect funding to supports that help students become successful. That would reduce the need for such strong consequences in the first place.

  • Livegreen

    ANSWER OLEASE OUSD & TROY FLINT: I have to say I am VERY disappointed at OUSD to hear about the bullying problems we’ve heard here at Claremont and Edna Brewer. Both schools are posed by OUSD to be alternatively the best potential or near best Middle Schools on Oakland after Montera. Then WHY is OUSD turning a blind eye to the victims of bullying at these schools??

    If OUSD is doing something it should publicize it rather than think NO response and communication is going to lessen it’s liability issues. This is also one of the biggest fears parents have about going to OUSD MIddle Schools. 5th Grade is one of the biggest dropping off points in OUSD. So how does this non response help anyone INCLUDING OUSD? How does this jibe with “Quality Community Schools”?

    WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUSD??
    -and-
    ARE YOU URGING SANDRE SWANSON TO SUPPORT OR OPPOSE THE ABOVE LAWS WHEN IT COMES TO VIOLENT CRIMES BY STUDENTS?

  • Adams Point Mama

    @Disappointed Oakland Mom — Would you be so kind as to tell me what school it is your son was attending? You can email me off-list at scootergal67@yahoo.com. I’m very concerned about middle school options for my children.

  • An observer

    I think in terms of statistics, the most useful would not be so much race, single parenting, economics but what age of the parent(s) of the chronically disruptive were when they became parents? That would speak a lot to the parenting skills or lack there of. I don’t see the data, but I have a feeling these disruptive, chronically acting out and undisciplined children are the off-spring of parents who were unprepared (and perhaps never considered preparing) to become parents in the first place.

    What kind of family planning classes/services does OUSD offer to it’s students? When I was in middle school, sex ed including STD prevention and contraception education in addition to the importance of PLANNING a family was taught to all students and reinforced regularly through high school and also, yes, by my family, peers and immediate culture. Does this happen at all in Oakland? What happens to the young people who choose to become parents before they are prepared?

    My child is in a high-performing school. We live a few doors down from a low-performing school. I constantly see children out on the streets during school hours. Graffiti, trash, vandalism and fighting outside, mere blocks from school is common during school hours and before and after. Parents picking up and dropping off blast music, peel out squealing their tires, even do doughnuts with their kids in their cars. There’s a general lack of basic rules and etiquette like actually pulling over to the white zone to drop off, using turn signals, crosswalks. Kids as young as 5 get out of the front seat, no car-seat or seat belts. It’s as if they don’t even know they are supposed to do these things because no one ever told them. The language they use speaking to one another and their children is the “colorful” language of youth (and difficult to process when under-caffeinated). When I drive my kid to school and pass our neighborhood school, I notice many differences between the parents dropping off their kids at both schools, but the one that is universal is age: the parents at our school are, on average, 10-15 years older.

    Is there any active encouraging or incentives in high school to wait to start families?

  • Nextset

    Observer: You can’t teach any kind of “planning” when you are also teaching that all “cultures” are equally good and valid.

    My schools taught good and bad. We were taught to hold in contempt and not associate with bad. While there were of course some shades of gray – many many things were not negotiable.

    You don’t have this in urban public education. Maybe it’s still there in Piedmont and Redding, just not in white liberal run schools for blacks and browns.

    Because they don’t want to upset the chillun or their parent and they think so little of them they sure don’t want to fight with them for their futures. Underneath it all it’s believed they can’t possibly have one.

    At least that is how I see this.

    By the way, why would you tolerate your child being in range of the ghetto school you describe above – a few doors down? Why would you remain in the vicinity of such a place raising your children?

  • del

    Well, I am either not writing very clearly or I am speaking to the wrong audience. It seems that my main message seems to get lost by something people are inferring but I am not trying to imply.
    I am not claiming to have achieved perfection. I am proud of my record as a student, coach, teacher, and administrator at schools in this district, but I am far more proud of my students. I do not think I need to be named on a mostly anonymous message board (blog, forum, what do we call this?). I think my opinions and facts speak for themselves, but if one aspect is not to your liking please do not dismiss the rest (or my existence) out of hand.
    We have all encountered students that we were unable to help the way we had hoped. Some are misplaced (wrong grade, have needs not being met) and some just haven’t learned coping mechanisms to parlay chaos at home into success at school. These kids are the exception, and as we grow professionally we learn more and more ways to help them and mitigate their disruption of other students.
    When I entered the profession I was actually taught that being a good teacher and having “high standards” meant throwing kids out of class, sometimes groups at a time. For a while, it was my only tool. I started to see how it didn’t really help the kids I was putting out, and wasn’t stopping disruptions from happening, or really improving the climate of the class. My team building skills improved, my curriculum design improved, and my ability to relate to individual kids increased, thanks to much help from peers, mentors, professional development, and my own reflection. After a few years, the only reason a child would be removed from class would be for a short cooling down period before being reintegrated into the classroom (which was an active process, not just sitting down & getting to work).
    As an administrator, my suspension rates were at times extremely high. As “Let’s get real” points out, that is one of the very few tools that a school has to deal with larger discipline incidents (especially the “mandatory” suspensions, which rarely happen in class anyway). However, with time, money, research, and collegial planning, many schools have been able to add many strategies to deal with the root of the problem. Restorative justice, counseling, parent trainings, improved classroom environments, positive discipline strategies, etc have all shown success when implemented consistently. They all provide opportunities to TEACH kids better ways to solve problems and TEACH kids the real consequences of their actions. Sadly, as we criminally underfund schools, these other options get cut as well. Even more sadly, all true solutions that have been proven to work also require MORE investment in time and energy from the adults at a school site, and sometimes that commitment just isn’t there.

  • del

    In regards to bullying, especially the incidents referenced above…

    No one on this board was there. No one has any first hand knowledge of what took place. Obviously, children were hurt, but we don’t know more than that. We hear from a few upset parents, but we also (should) remember that no matter the case the district is LEGALLY BARRED FROM DISCUSSING THE INCIDENTS IN PUBLIC. These are children whose privacy CAN NOT be compromised. As a parent and ex-student, I feel a huge amount of sympathy for kids and families who have experienced bullying, especially in the extreme, but that does not change state law.
    In terms of requiring a district lawyer to be present for a meeting, I have seen that happen (and made the same requirement) many times. Sometimes it has been because the school/district was in error and liable and didn’t want to increase liability. In other cases it was because the parent had assaulted a staff member, did not have custody of the child, etc. It can be anything, and the parent has the same rights to ask that their attorney/advocate be there. Again, we don’t know the details. I feel very sympathetic with these families but no one knows the facts—that’s why the lawyers are involved!
    Lastly, a little about bullying. It’s one of the oldest human behaviors there is, but has only recently become a concern at schools. The reality is that at every school in the world today (including colleges and universities) there was at least one incident of bullying. Probably at most work places, and probably in many families. We’ve definitely seen it on this board, hell a few posts above I was accused of not existing (probably because whoever anonymously made that accusation felt threatened by me as well!). Many people can only identify bullying when they are the victims of it, not when they are the perpetrators. That doesn’t excuse it, but we also need to have some perspective on this. There is no quick answer, and no easy answer. Restorative justice is a great avenue to giving kids (and adults) insight in to their behaviors & the effects of them, but not every school can afford to have an adult sit with two kids for hours at a time as they explore these issues. And not every parent would go for it either—many just want the offender to be suspended!
    A quick anecdote:
    This entire thread came into mind last night as my grandkids ate desert at the table. The elder child (they are both in primary grades) kept pinching pieces of his younger sibling’s cake when the younger one was distracted, much to the younger one’s frustration. We kind of thought it was a little bit cute. Eventually, the younger one grasped their table knife and said “now you won’t take any” and we all laughed as a family.
    Of course, if that had happened at a school, the elder sibling would be disciplined for bullying, and the younger would face mandatory expulsion for brandishing a weapon. And this is exactly what makes school discipline so tricky, especially since it is legislated by outsiders and discussed by strangers.

  • Ex-Oakland staff

    Del: re: <>
    Having taught in OUSD and in private schools I can argue from experience that this statement is not correct. The behavior differences between private school and OUSD are extreme, and the amount of actual class work that a teacher can do in a private school is much greater than can be achieved in a non-selective OUSD classroom, although in an advanced, selective class the differences are not so great. Another example of how a change in the student body affected the classroom is Glenview School which has had big rise in test scores in the last decade. The teaching staff has been relatively stable during the decade, but there has been a dramatic demographic shift to a more middle class student body. The students and the test scores changed, but the teachers didn’t.

  • OUSD Parent

    Del, Kids horsing around at home around the dinner table is not bullying. A child being beaten by another child at school with injuries severe enough to be sent to the ER is bullying. You can’t really compare it to the antics around your dinner table. I feel that parents and the community have the right to be upset about this. I also feel that the school can handle it in a way that follows the law of the state while addressing the concerns of the community and most importantly that of the family of the victim.

  • Catherine

    Del: Girls who have their clothing ripped and torn by boys in the stairwell as witnessed and reported by other students are not the same as dipping a finger in some cake.

    Reaching up a girl’s top and down her pants without her permission and on school grounds is not the same as finger in cake.

    These are criminal activity. When we, as a school community, do not appropriate deal with the situation, we should EXPECT to see the same boys in prison before they would have graduated high school because they will continue to sexually assault girls and women. This is happening frequently in Oakland middle schools. The boys are back on campus within three school days of each incident. I do not buy the “privacy” argument. Witnessed report, boys continue behavior and continue to be on campus, girls are frightened and leave the school. Period.

  • del

    A child being beaten and sent to a hospital is assault. Sexual assault is sexual assault. A child having some of his food taken on a regular basis by another who is older would be considered bullying. They are wildly different situations, but all dealt with by the education code as mandatory suspensions. No matter the situation, if we see behavior that we do not want repeated in or out of school, it must be addressed.

    In the case of an egregious assault, of course the parents and the community should be upset, and they should respond by increasing their involvement in the school to ensure that a positive school culture exists.

    In terms of sexual assaults, those are not happening “frequently” in our middle schools, as you say Catherine. When a sexual assault does occur (like anywhere else) it is both a personal and community tragedy, and if the root causes are not addressed, an assault will happen again. In any situation, the privacy of the victim is of the utmost importance, and that trumps the desire of the public to know the details. If you have actual documentation of repeated assaults and their the consequences for the perpetrators (as well as information about the counseling they receive, and IEPs they might have, etc) and you are dissatisfied with the situation, you already know to discuss that with whoever shared that information with you or with their direct superior.
    In terms of not buying “privacy,” I agree that it can be very frustrating to not know all the details of something that directly affects the mental and physical health of my family. That being said, neither of us are using our full names, nor are we disclosing our own past teenage indiscretions (or much worse). If we reserve that right for ourselves, we must extend it to minors that do not belong to us. Or at least, we must understand that our society, for better or worse, has laws that protect that privacy.
    While I’m here I might as well respond to “ex-oakland staff”… I’m not sure what statement of mine you are disagreeing with. I don’t think I really addressed anything you are talking about.

  • Catherine

    Del: What you have said in your posts is that because I am not privy to the details I cannot know if the issue was adequately addressed. In several instances I have pointed out what happened when I was present or when I have read reports of actual eye-witness accounts of the situation. The situations were beyond three-day suspensions, yet the same students who perpetrated the crimes were in classroom chairs in three school days or less.

    You are right about the clothes not being removed weekly from teens in middle school. However you are wrong about the frequency of boys circling girls in the stairwell in our local middle school to push themselves against girls that are pinned against the wall. In our middle school it happens almost weekly.

    We give excuses – over 25% of our students are on IEP or 504 plans, they’re better off in school than on the streets, they live in poverty, their father is in prison and so on, and so on. There is no excuse for this type of activity. When you see a student who has committed a crime – or what would be a crime in let’s say, a charter school, a private school, a parochial school or in terms of the actual law a citizen would be required to abide by, that student does not have the legal or moral right to be in the classroom and the same stairwell to continue to commit crime. Yes, look at the “middle=class” middle schools in Oakland – the smaller ones, look carefully and you will find this activity happens weekly or about every 11 -12 school days. Not reported because the suspension, if it happens is only 3 days – 3 days and I don’t have to report the situation to the district or the board.

  • AH

    I’m going to have to stop reading this blog–I’m getting depressed and anxious about sending my kid to Claremont in 2013…

    And Catherine, I wasn’t aware that there were any middle-class middle schools in Oakland. I’m not being facetious. Are you talking about Montera? Would you consider Claremont or Westlake to be middle class?

    Also, to Catherine, what is your source for your statement about “this activity every 11 or 12 school days”? So the schools don’t have to report 3-day suspensions to the district or the Board, but they do track them, don’t they? So a Public Information Request could get this data? Not identifying students by name, of course, but just to get pure numbers. Katy, would tracking down that information be of interest to you?

  • del

    Catherine:
    You seem to be talking about very specific incidences at a specific school. I have no knowledge of the situation so I will continue to speak in generalities. Again, the number of variables involved when we talk about “student discipline” is nearly infinite, so there will always be specific incidents that confound us. And due to the necessarily general nature of laws and policies, often times we are not satisfied with the results of an incident that touches us emotionally. That is true when dealing with any large organization, and our emotional response is heightened when it involves children, especially our children.
    One thing I can respond to about the specific situation you are referring to is the stairwell issue. Every school (and neighborhood, and workplace) has it’s “hot spots” that need to be supervised. If we think back to our own school experiences, we can easily remember them—my first kiss (and first time getting slapped by a girl) was under the bleachers by the football field. Sounds like the stairwell is the hotspot at the school you describe. If you know this, the administration should as well, and more supervision of some sort should be provided. Sometimes schools even need to look at their master schedules, occasionally we accidentally create a pattern that forces too many kids into too small a hallway or stairway during passing periods. Perhaps the classrooms closest to the stairs do not have a teacher at that time so supervision is trickier. Sometimes the hotspots are right under an unobservant teacher’s nose. If everyone knows about it, and no one is doing anything, that is the problem, not the number of days of suspension.
    Speaking of a lack of supervision, I am still concerned about how much knowledge you have of the situation. Not because I don’t trust you, but because there are clearly delineated rules about all this. If you are reading student statements, you must be an administrator or a credentialed administrative designee. If not, well then things are already loosey goosey and that may explain some of the problems being encountered. In either case, if you are seeing these documents as part of your job duties, you know who your supervisor & their supervisor is, and know the proper way to escalate these concerns. Please note I am not saying YOU are intentionally doing anything wrong or that you YOU don’t have the best interests of the children at heart—any time there is an incident of concern, we look to at the SYSTEM in place and determine if it is adequate and if it has been followed.
    In terms of excuses, there are millions whether or not you deem them valid. State law DOES deem 504s and IEPs valid excuses for many behaviors, depending on the specific situation. As an educator, I also look at it this way: the behavior is either instinctual (and shouldn’t be punished severely) or it is learned. If it is learned, that means someone is doing a better job teaching this kid that this IS the way to behave than we are as a community at teaching the child it is NOT the way to behave. If a child is repeating this behavior at school, that means someone is teaching him more effectively than I am, despite my master’s degree and experience. Is it because the behavior is glorified by his idols on TV? Reinforced by his peers/family/friends/neighborhood? Is his suspension a reward? Are the girls (accidentally or not) responding in a way the boy interprets positively? Again, we have to look at the SYSTEM we have in place and determine how that has affected the situation, and make changes at the systems level.
    Again, although the behavior is abhorrent and I would not stand for it at my school, what you describe is not uncommon amongst adults as well. Men approaching women aggressively and physically is something I’ve had to deal with amongst adults at a school, and certainly something that is encountered in every bar in the world on a nightly basis, and celebrated on TV shows and movies. It’s very confusing to kids when we say do as we say not as we do (or “not as your heroes do”).
    In any case, I’m not sure what 5 vs 3 days of suspension would really change about these behaviors but I certainly understand your frustration with ANY sexual harassment or assault on a school campus.

  • del

    AH—I am curious about those statistics as well. Every suspension and its reason I believe can be examined by the public once the data is aggregated. As in, they can say there were 24 suspensions for fights that led to 45 days of suspension (that is an example, not a fact or even a guess).

    And PLEASE do not use comments on this blog as your basis for research for OUSD schools. These comments are anonymous and quite often cite “information” that posters cannot/should not have access to (and I usually believe is false or misleading). I would not accept as fact anonymous posting on the internet (for a similar situation, go to yelp and look up your favorite restaurant!). PLEASE go to the school on the regular and meet the people with whom your child will be spending all their time!

  • AH

    Del, don’t worry, comments on this blog are only one source of information for me. I speak with families currently at the school and will keep informed of those families heading there this year. There is a nice cohort of kids from our school choosing Claremont for next fall. BTW, a universal theme from the families I’ve spoken with is that the teachers are terrific. So there’s a bright spot…