Suspensions Down — Student Safety Up

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 17, 2012) – While fewer students are missing classes due to suspensions, more students feel safe at school, marking progress in two key categories for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Superintendent said today.


During the 2011-12 school year, students lost 26,000 instructional days due to suspensions, plummeting from more than 46,000 during the previous school year, according to District figures. Hoping to reduce suspensions by 5%, the District exceeded its goal – by far – with a 44% drop.


“We are committed to reducing the number of days students miss school because they have been suspended,” said Superintendent John Deasy. “By focusing on our positive progressive discipline policy, our schools have been able to keep more students in school, so that they have more time to learn.”


The decrease spread across all racial and ethnic groups. Latino students plunged 46% from a year earlier to 16,479. African-American students shrunk 36% from the previous year to 7,888. In all, the number of suspension days has tumbled over the past five years by 65%.


“I am proud of our progress,” Deasy said. “We will work hard to keep more students in school.”

 

 

 

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Instructional Days Lost to Suspension

Target

 

 

 

 

43,506

41,006

38,506

Actual

74,765

59,783

53,725

46,006

26,286

--

--

 

Momore

 


Table 2: Instructional Days Lost to Suspension by Ethnicity

 

ETHNICITY

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

AM. IND. /ALSK.  NAT.

253

235

209

189

100

ASIAN

598

936

992

477

262

AFR. AMER.

23,107

17,874

15,525

12,368

7,888

FILIPINO

537

114

32

271

150

LATINO

46,596

37,490

34,193

30,392

16,469

PACIFIC ISLANDER

364

250

232

146

56

WHITE

3,310

2,884

2,377

2,163

1,361

Overall

74,765

59,783

53,560

46,006

26,286

 

In another key gauge of overall security, a District poll found that 86% of students said they felt safe on campus. The latest figure reflects a two percentage point gain from the previous year, according to the School Experience Survey. The increase matched the District’s goal for this year.

 

 

 

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

% of Students who feel safe on school grounds
(School Experience Survey)

Target

 

 

 

 

86

88

90

Actual

 

82

83

84

86

--

--

 

Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Schools Police Department, suggested several reasons why students believe that campus safety has improved.


He said having officers on campus creates a greater deterrent to illegal activity; conducting random searches for weapons and raising dialog between students and officers has increased understanding.


In addition, he said, students have made better use of a hotline allowing anyone to inform authorities without disclosing their name about illegal devices that may have been brought to school. “Certainly, students realize the chances for someone bringing a weapon onto campus is diminished,” Zipperman said.


Still, he hopes the percentage of students climbs higher next year. “When we see these statistics,” Zipperman said, “it shows that we’re doing things right and that what we do matters.”  


Contact: Tom Waldman  (213) 241-6566


Photo courtesy of Colorado Department of Public Safety              

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