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Update on school discipline

    Aretha Blake, left, a lawyer and board member of the Council for Children's Rights, and Dr. Ralph Taylor, CMS executive director of safe schools, addressed the Forum Jan. 8, 2008 about school discipline. Taylor said the number of suspensions has not fallen, but that procedural changes had led to a large decrease in the number of formal hearings. Also, the decentralization of the some district operations meant that more people were deciding punishments. Taylor acknowledged that having many officials making such decisions meant that similar cases throughout the system were not resulting in the same disciplinary action. And with two school board members in the audience, Taylor also candidly acknowledged that final punishments vary widely when disciplinary cases are appealed to the school board. Such appeals are heard by three-member panels of the board. Decisions vary, Taylor said, depending on who is sitting on a particular panel. And, said Taylor, "Sometimes it's who you know" that determines the outcome of the panel's deliberations.





The Forum welcomes all persons to its meetings beginning at 8 a.m. most Tuesdays of the year
at the West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2222 Kendall Drive, Charlotte, NC
down the hill from West Charlotte High School.