Sunday, December 6, 2015

Suspensions spike in Toronto’s K-3 grades

The Toronto public school board’s youngest students are being suspended at a skyrocketing rate that has jumped nearly 50 per cent over the past four years.

The surprising findings, drawn from recent safety reports from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), show that, while suspension rates overall have gone down, students enrolled in kindergarten to Grade 3 are increasingly being sent home as punishment.

TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said a principal’s decision to suspend a student is a “last resort,” used only after other remedial efforts have failed.

“The word ‘suspension’ may sound harsh, but this is essentially our version of a timeout, like people do with young kids at home,” he told the Star.

Released annually, the TDSB Caring and Safe Schools Reports contain a comprehensive overview of student suspension and expulsion data logged throughout the school year. In 2014-15, 12 per cent of all suspensions were doled out to primary students. The figure was pegged at 6.7 per cent just three years prior.  (more...)

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