We're having a tough time understanding the city's public school system right now. First they're all proud that graduation rates are up. Then it turns out that some of those graduating kids were actually delinquent, failing 21-year-olds. And now, according to the Daily News, school officials have issued 72,000 suspensions this past school year, up 40% since 2006. But then again, some of those suspensions could have been for things as dumb as bringing peppermint oil or LEGOs to school. What do you want us to feel, DOE?!
The city doled out about 52,000 suspensions in the 2005-06 school year, and parents are worried that the increase (especially since fewer students were enrolled this past year) could mean the students who need the education the most are left with no class time. Chris Tan of Advocates for Children said this is a "major crisis," and suggested making disruptive kids see a counselor instead of enforcing the harsh, "zero tolerance" policies. Parents agree. One mother of a 12-year-old boy suspended for 30 days for fighting said, "All it's doing is messing up the kid's record."
Education officials say their system works, noting a 7% decline in major crimes at schools this year. However, they are open to some changes. Education Department spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said they're considering "giving principals the option of choosing to hold a parent conference for some infractions that once mandated suspension." Could that apply to sexting? Because we'd love to see what happens in one of those conferences.