State urges APS & other schools to rethink zero-tolerance
The request is aimed at cutting back on the number of expulsions in Michigan, of which there were 1,400 during the 2010-11 school year.
School districts are being urged to “adopt discipline policies without mandated suspension or expulsion for issues that do not involve weapons.”
Supporters say too many students are being booted from school for nonviolent offenses, such as disobedience or insubordination. They say those students fall behind and sometimes drop out.
Alpena Public Schools had approximately 40 expulsion hearings over the past year. About 25 percent of those resulted in 10-day suspensions and most of the others were for a longer period of time.
Superintendent Brent Holcomb agrees that keeping students away from school will have a negative impact on their grades but says APS always comes up with an educational plan for kids that are expelled or suspended, no matter what they do wrong.
By law, students who bring guns to school, get into physical altercations or sexually assault other students or staff, must be suspended or expelled.