How does your school handle discipline problems? This new ranking may surprise you.
A searchable database by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution allows users to see how their schools disciplined students during the 2014-15 academic school year.
The database measures different disciplinary actions in metro Atlanta area school systems (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties) and in the city school systems (Atlanta Public Schools, Buford City, Decatur City and Marietta City).
The actions range from detention to juvenile or court referrals. Out-of-school suspensions indicate serious violations of the code of conduct that usually result in a temporary expulsion from school classes and activities.
Here are the high schools with the most out-of-school suspensions during the 2014-2015 academic school year.
Note: Middle schools and alternative schools are not included in this list, but are included in the database.
1. Meadowcreek High School (Gwinnett): 2566
2. Columbia High School (DeKalb): 1649
3. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School (DeKalb): 1161
4. McNair High School (DeKalb): 1049
5. Miller Grove High School (DeKalb): 941
6. Douglass High School (APS): 882
7. Forest Park High School (Clayton): 840
8. Norcross High School (Gwinnett): 773
9. Towers High School (DeKalb): 755
10. Dacula High School (Gwinnett): 721
Each school district approaches conduct violations differently. For example, DeKalb County schools outline seven levels of consequences for conduct violations, including four levels of suspensions. Gwinnett County outlines in their Code of Conduct manual which rules result in which suspensions.
Numbers may also be affected by race and ethnicity. Georgia’s black students are suspended and expelled in disproportionate numbers compared to whites, according to a report by the AJC.
An AJC investigation in 2014 found that while only 37 percent of Georgia public school students are black, they make up 67 percent of students given out-of-school suspensions.
Black students made up 69 percent of the DeKalb school student body, but 90 percent of suspensions in the 2011-2012 academic school year.
In the same year, black students made up 30 percent of the Gwinnett County school student population, but 50 percent of all suspensions.
A study published by University of Pennsylvania researchers in 2015 suggests racial discrimination is part of the reason.
Civil rights advocates argue this trend is crippling minority students’ chances of career success and marring them with criminal records.
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