I dug a little deeper into the expulsion recommendations in the Escambia Public School District. This year shows a reversal in the trend. From 2001-2005, expulsions were much higher for the months August-December:
Until this year, we had seen a decline.
The Restorative Justice grant was to help reduce these numbers even further, but Superintendent Thomas had the School Board decline the remaining two years of the grant. Thomas has told the board and the public that he will maintain the program. He has told community leaders that his program is working and expulsions are down. The numbers don’t agree.
If we take out August 2010 (22 expulsions) as some sort of weird anomaly, 2010 is still higher than 2009. From the law enforcement reports, we know that society is more violent. Therefore, more expulsions shouldn’t be a surprise, but let’s not mislead the public by telling them that they are fewer than last year. We can’t deal with the problem if we hide the facts.
If the School District has implemented its own version of Restorative Justice that offers alternatives to expulsion, then how many expulsions has the District avoided since August 2010?