Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

June 23, 2014

Find alternatives to school suspension

— — In 2012 Mercer County students were suspended from school for 6,796 days. This does not include days missed because of bus detention which, in many cases, causes students not to be able to get to school.  And if a school has block scheduling, one day of suspension is equivalent to two days of missed work. It may be impossible for students to make up 18 days of work after a nine-day suspension. Elementary school students were suspended for more than 1,800 days in 2012!  

The attendance and graduation rates of  Mercer County are already below the state average every year.

It may cost money to keep troubled and difficult students in school. Suspending a child does not cost the school anything.

But suspending students is not without costs. Those students are more likely to drop out, use drugs, commit crimes, have few or no job skills and end up on welfare or in prison. Those are huge costs which are ultimately passed along by the school system to the taxpayers and citizens living in this community.

The Mercer County Board should find alternatives to suspending students instead of avoiding the issue and hoping that the problem will go away.

Richard Goldstein




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