Suspensions up 26 percent in Pinellas last year
Out of school suspensions rose sharply in Pinellas last year, from 17,400 to 21,849, an uptick of 25.6 percent, according to discipline reports recently posted on the district’s Web site. The number of individual students being suspended also took a big leap, from 9,488 to 10,542.
Take it with a grain of salt. Discipline numbers can vary wildly from year to year, depending on policy changes, leadership changes and shifting responses/approaches to the same issues. School Board member Janet Clark touched on that point at last week’s board meeting.
“I want the board to insist on consistency of behavior for our students," Clark said. "I think we have so many schools that allow things that other schools don’t. Across the board we have to have a standard that says, ‘This is not acceptable in my classroom.’ “
For what it’s worth, here are some schools (by no means all) that had especially high suspension rates:
Lakewood Elementary: 22.2 percent.
James Sanderlin Elementary: 23 percent.
Azalea Middle: 34.5 percent.
Tyrone Middle: 33.3 percent.
Gibbs High: 22.6 percent.
Pinellas Park High: 19.9 percent.
Ron Matus and Donna Winchester, Times staff writers