Discipline Data at RPS

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Public School is taking a close look at some recently released data involving student discipline and behavior.

The report analyzed everything from fighting, to weapons, to student suspensions. In the last year, the number of school suspensions within RPS went up nearly 25%.

The data also shows a disproportionate number of black students are being suspended. According to the state education department, 53.64% of the student body is white. This past school year, only 28% of student suspensions involved white students.

Compare that to black students, which only make up 15.74% of the student body, but see 38% of suspensions.

The overall number of suspensions among students are up.

Increasing from just 1,224 during the 2021-2022 school year to 1,523 this past school year.

The district is following orders from the state when it comes to suspending some of the youngest elementary students.

“The state has made it clear that it is no longer appropriate to suspend little kids, our youngest learners, that was happening in Rochester somewhat to my surprise, so we are moving forward with meeting that requirement that we will not be suspending students from zero up to third grade,” Superintendent Kent Pekel said.

According to the report, the district has seen slight decreases in fighting and bullying, but more cases of drugs and alcohol, bad language, and cheating.

To show perspective on cheating for example, there were 46 incidents of that this past school year.

With more than 17,492 students, that’s less than half a percent of the student body.