Discipline problems in schools up 226%Swinford to seek more officers, approval for management plan

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Suspensions from Vicksburg Warren School District classrooms increased from 1,236 in the 2009-10 school year to 4,033, or 226 percent, during the year that ended last month.

In addition, serious infractions required to be reported to the Mississippi Department of Education, such as disorderly conduct, fighting and drug possession, increased from 158 to 269 over the same period, though within the category weapon possession and thefts fell after an increase from 2009-10.

School discipline numbers were released by Dr. Elizabeth Swinford, superintendent, just days before the Board of Trustees will vote on her proposed 2012-13 budget, which includes money for five additional school resource officers, or policemen, and her plan to implement a districtwide classroom management program.

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“Yes, they’re alarming, but we knew that already,” Swinford said. “There are some big increases. But I will say first that we do not know for sure how these things were reported before I was hired in 2010.”