Thursday, April 05, 2007

Student Offenses...Concealed from the Public?

According to an article in the Washington Post Montgomery County schools are working to report student offenses in more detail aimed at a tendency to conceal cases from the public.

"Starting with the 2008-09 school year, Montgomery County parents can expect a clearer picture of the kind and amount of crimes and other suspension-worthy offenses committed by students in and around schools.
Officials have started work on a comprehensive School Safety Report, a document that should offer the public a running tally of student offenses involving weapons, drugs, sexual misconduct and violence, among other categories, at every school. No such report exists now; the nearest equivalent is an annual report from the state that lists offenses by school across several broad categories but without enough detail to render it very meaningful to parents or policy makers."

13 comments:

Richard said...

I think this is a great idea. We should absolutely have the ability to know what's going on in our schools...no matter how embarrassing to the system.

HeatherBartlett said...

This is a WONDERFUL idea. Is there a model to follow us citizens can send a letter to the board about or is Montgomery County making it up as they go?

Guess I should read the article!

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Do you know if this information is listed anywhere on the CCBOE.com site? Just wondering!

Jennifer said...

Heather,
We currently do not publicize this information. In fact, the Board doesn't even have this information. Ms. Young requested this information last year but it was never received.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is never reported.
Why not?
I hear from many students and teachers of horrid things that happen in school that is never reported in the newspaper or by a letter that should go home from the school.
Jennifer, please ask Mr. Richmond why the taxpayer parents do not receive a
report of the crimes that occur in their children's or neighborhood schools.

Jennifer said...

Anonymous,
I will be keeping a listening ear and watchful eye on the outcome of this report and will try to approach my fellow board members on implementing something similar here in Charles County.

Anonymous said...

And is it a possibility that Board Member's children are afforded some privileges that other children are not? I think I heard someone say that a child of a current Board Member was caught 'sharing' her prescription medication with a fellow student and the student was suspended but this particular Board member's child was not. I wonder if that was a true story or fabricated?

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Anonymous,
Yes I am aware of the rumor that you are referring to.
A student was found on school property with an old prescription medication belonging to a Board Member's child. Not only was this student in possession but also under the influence. The Sheriff's department was contacted and involved in the investigation prior to the parents, including the Board member, being notified. Several students were questioned by school officials and the Sheriff's department and it was determined that the Board member's child was not involved. It is suspected that the prescription bottle was removed from their house by a visitor without their knowledge. Although the Board member's childs' name was on the prescription, the child was cleared of any wrong doing.
The Board members child was NOT granted any special privileges. Proper procedure and protocol was followed for all students regardless of parental status.
Unfortunately, it has become increasingly popular to spread rumors and/or half-truths about the personal lives of elected officals and their children just because of political differences. They may not realize, slander is punishable by law.

Jennifer said...

BTW - thisis information I received as an involved parent in the community, not in my capacity as a Board member.

Anonymous said...

Are we still following up on this report or waiting from Richmond's office to report the violence in the schools?

How about the droves of teachers leaving this system, including new teachers as well as seasoned veteran teachers?

Why don't we publish in the Independent the number of qualified teachers leaving the system? How about doing anonymous exit interviews to see WHY they are leaving?

Jennifer said...

I'll post the links with the answers to yourquestions tomorrow, sorry...have to find them

Jennifer said...

CCPS post the suspensions each year on our fast facts page and send out a press release in the beginning of the year announcing the posting of the reports. Here is the link to the chart, which lists suspension by school and offense: FAST FACTS
While they are reported by number, we post a code definition list also so people can run both out and check the offenses they are interested in.

Here is the link to the press release we ran in November when we first filed our report with the state: PRESS RELEASE

Seems to me we are ahead of Montgomery County in this regard.

LegalBeaglette said...

{smiling}Never made much sense to me to suspend a student for cutting class...

"Refusal to obey school policies" seems quite the catchall. Further, I note it states "school" policies, not CCPS policies. Hmmmm.