ERIC Number: ED403639
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul-25
Reference Count: N/A
Voices about School Suspension, Expulsion, and Safety.
Mellard, Daryl; Seybert, Linda
A 1995 Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) report investigated violence among students and the frequency of and basis for suspensions and expulsions among the state's student population. This paper presents findings of a study that examined educational stakeholders' perceptions of school suspension, expulsion, and violence in Kansas schools. Interviews were conducted with a total of 34 participants in 5 separate focus groups in 3 different Kansas cities. Each group consisted of secondary-level building administrators, directors of special education, parents, special-education staff, school psychologists, and community members. In general, the discussions confirmed KSBE's previous research findings. Although some of the participants were reluctant to admit that expulsion- and suspension-related problems existed, they agreed that students' misbehaviors were increasing. Students in special education were disproportionately represented in the number of students suspended or expelled. In addition, participants questioned the efficacy of suspension and expulsion practices. In a few schools, suspensions were a basis for initiating alternative educational services and placements. Nonviolent behaviors (that is, smoking, disobedience, and verbal threats) recurred more frequently than violent behavior and had profound effects. Violent acts were committed by a small segment of the student population that had a history of school-related problems, and occurred regardless of school district size or location. Finally, focusing only on violent acts fails to consider other safety and school-climate issues. A systemswide approach involving diverse stakeholders is needed to positively address these related problems. (Contains 1 table and 32 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kansas State Board of Education, Topeka.
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Center for Research and Learning.
Identifiers - Location: Kansas