School Expulsion Cases Spike Up.
I don’t pretend to have hard statistics to back this up but I, along with others have experienced a sudden rise in the number of drug and alcohol related school expulsion this school year. Having many years of experience representing students suspended and facing the real possibility of school expulsion (leaving aside the subject of formal prosecution) — accused of having alcohol or drugs on school grounds — my office and many others like it, have seen a sudden and sharp rise in cases loads. It has become clear that virtually all of the public schools in this region are handing out suspensions and following up with school expulsion, like there’s no tomorrow!
The number of students accused of committing drug and alcohol offenses has spiked well over the usual numbers typically seen at this point in the school year. The rise in school related drinking and drug cases, cuts conspicuously across demographics. Students of both sexes are fairly represented. These are kids from both regular education and special education placements, and students from affluent, middle and lower income families, living in cities throughout the region. We see students from middle school all the way through high school and into college, arrested for possession on school property or at after school activities. The increased numbers we see in youth alcohol and drug possession, present a startling turnabout from recent years, especially when it comes to drug related charges.
I have no explanation for the bump in cases we’ve seen in school expulsions cases this year. But I wonder if the increased number of students who are suspended and faced with expulsion from school, comes more as a result of our schools’ hardening policy than it does from any drastic shift in attitude by the student population.