Rockford School Board to Rule on High Number of Student Discipline Cases

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

They caused problems in August and September, and on Tuesday, 19 students face the disciplinary wrath of the Rockford School Board.

"We've had for the last several years had a large influx in the beginning of the year, but things settle down as the year goes on," board member Mike Williams says.

Violations from possession of a handgun to hazing are part of the 15 expulsion and four suspension appeal hearings. Board member Williams says it a tough discipline code gives administrators the tools to bust up problems.

"The cases include a wide spectrum of violations and of course administrators can't be everywhere to catch every single incident, but the serious ones the administrators are on top of," Williams explains.

The board will likely spend an hour in closed session going over each case. After going over the fact, they'll make their decision, a decision not always in line with administrators.

"Sometimes we don't feel that an incident has raised itself to the level of expulsion, so it's not a rubber stamp," says Williams.

And though expulsion hearings are up this year, Williams says it's more a sign of a rise in violence than a rise in classroom discipline.

"We moved from one to two expulsion recommendations a month to now 19 in one evening, but I think that's a sign of our society more than the school district cracking down," Williams adds.

And on Tuesday, it's the Rockford School Board that will crack down its decision, case by case.

The 19 students facing expulsion or suspension come from four Rockford high schools and two middle schools.

Though the board will discuss the cases in closed session, they will announce the decisions in open session.


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