Who's getting suspended in Hillsborough
The Hillsborough County School District has kept a close watch this year on out-of-school suspensions, and they've shared some of that data with us. Any suspension of more than five days must be approved by an area superintendent.
Chamberlain High School tops the list with 121 five-day-plus suspensions.
McLane Middle School came in second place with 88, and was one of just two middle schools to make the top 10. The other, Shields Middle School, reported 66 long suspensions.
The other seven near the top of the list: East Bay High (78); Spoto High (74); Hillsborough High (71); Armwood High (70); Wharton High (69); King High (60) and Middleton High School with 57.
Prompted by complaints about a black-white disparity in school discipline, and an ongoing federal investigation, the district started this school year with dramatic changes in its discipline policies. Vague terms like "inappropriate behavior" were thrown out and schools could no longer remove children for 10 days at a time. Schools also introduced restorative practices for students when they return. Some tried elementary school type incentive plans -- like novelty dollars that buy trinkets and privileges -- with surprising success.
Overall, officials say, the new strategy has resulted in more instructional time for students, although the racial disparity still exists.