By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
The Corinth School District had 72 out-of-school suspensions in the 2016-17 school year for the middle and high schools, according to Superintendent Dr. Lee Childress.
Some of those suspensions could have involved the same student being suspended multiple times.
There is a “laundry list” of reasons that a student could be suspended, Childress noted. It could be for disruptive behavior, fighting, handbook violations, inciting a fight, insubordination, inappropriate language, not being in the right place, theft, threatening behavior, dress code and being verbally abusive.
The 72 suspensions for the middle and high schools covered a student population of about 1,400. The district would love to have no suspensions, but Childress said certain situations warrant suspension, such as when the safety of the suspended student or other students is a factor.
Rather than send students home, the district would prefer to place them at in-school suspension or the alternative school so they can continue to receive help from school staff.
There is a concern that a child who is suspended may be at home during the day without supervision, Childress said. That could lead to the child getting into other trouble, and it is best if children are in school, he said
Each out-of-school suspension is handled on a case-by-case basis and could depend on where a student falls on the discipline ladder. The discipline ladder includes a range of consequences, such as in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension and not being allowed to take part in extracurricular activities.
Some children may be placed back with the regular student population after their suspension is complete while others may have time at in-school suspension or the alternative school for a certain time upon returning.
The length of the suspension could be very short such as the remainder of the school day for a “cooling off” period, Childress said. Most of them probably don’t exceed five days, he added.
A student suspended more than 10 days can request an appeal hearing before the superintendent. If the parent disagrees with the superintendent’s decision on the appeal, another hearing can be held before the school board.
The district makes available behavior classes for parents and children to promote positive change. Students suspended for seven days or more can get their suspension time reduced for attending the classes.
Sending a student to alternative school for a minimum of 15 days is another disciplinary option.
Students who are suspended are allowed to make up their missed school work and can even log into their student computer account while at home, Childress said.
Suspensions are not intended to keep a child from getting an education, Childress noted.
If a child misses state testing due to being suspended there is a window to make up the test. But if the student misses the make-up test as well, then he or she would likely not take that test. This would not cause the child to be held back a grade, and he or she would just take the test the next time, Childress said.
It is rare for children to be suspended from school during state testing, he said.