Suspensions down around Hillsborough County district schools

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 18:33:46-05

Fewer students at Hillsborough County schools are getting suspended, but it may not be because of improving behavior.

Members of the Hillsborough Co. school board discussed the latest numbers in Tuesday. This comes a year after they began implanting new discipline measures which focused on finding alternatives to suspending students.

According to the boards findings, overall suspensions dropped by nearly eight percent from the 2014-15 schools year to the 2015-16 school year. The number of days students were suspended dropped by nearly 23 percent.

African American males make lead with  most suspensions, by nearly  2,000 more than white students. While the number has gone down, the gap continues.

However, parents like Dawn Marshall think the program is a step in the right direction.

"Too many kids are out they're not learning," she said,"now we're susceptible of those kids not passing."

However, not everyone is convinced the program is fully achieving the goal to help with student conduct.

"Simply saying we're not going to suspend kids, I don't think really gets us the result we're looking for," said

Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins, Exec. Dir. for the Hillsborough Classroom Teacher's Association. She hopes the board will begin listening more to teacher input.

"I think some places people are doing fine," she said,"and I think other places people feel that discipline is out of control at the school because students don't feel that there's any consequences."

Schools around the district are now using alternative programs to help students with disciplinary issues who would have otherwise been suspended. Also, Under the new program, administrators must first get approval before suspending a student for more than five days.