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Milwaukee Public Schools Report Record Student Suspensions

by Jan Christensen

One in five Milwaukee public school students is suspended at least once during the year, according to Milwaukee Catalyst, a non-profit education research and advocacy organization. A recent publication from the group states that, “Though Milwaukee public school district enrollment has declined in recent years, the number of student suspensions is increasing.” A record 58,978 student suspensions were issued during the 2000-01 school year, up from 55,616 the previous year. Suspensions of very young students in grades K-4 increased twice, three times, or even more over the period. For example, there were only 12 suspensions of kindergarten students reported in 1999-00, while an incredible 209 were reported in 2000-01. Who gets suspended? Figures show that male student suspensions exceed female students by about 2 to 1. About 80% of the suspensions were given to African American students. Middle school student suspensions are highest, with seventh graders receiving the most. If you’re interested in learning more, you can request a copy of the publication Beyond Suspensions from Milwaukee Catalyst. Call them at 414-264-4010. Milwaukee Catalyst also sponsors a series of workshops to help increase involvement and build partnerships between schools, parents, and the community. There are four workshops scheduled for November. Check the Calendar listings (pages 17-19) for dates and times. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 10 – November 2002
by Jan Christensen