An outlier in the state, Worcester schools look to reduce recent spike in emergency removals

Below is an excerpt from an October 5 article published by the Telegram.

WORCESTER – As the Worcester schools begin a new campaign to lower their suspension rates, a new report shows the district is an outlier in the state for its use of another mechanism for removing students from school.

According to “Unfinished Business: Assessing Our Progress on School Discipline Under Massachusetts Chapter 222” published last month by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, Worcester accounted for almost 60 percent of all “emergency removal” procedures carried out at schools across the state two years ago. Emergency removals allow a school to effectively suspend for two days a student who has committed some offense and is deemed a danger or disruptive presence in his or her classroom and for whom there is no alternative in-school placement.

While the Chapter 222 law enacted in the state in 2014 intended to restrain schools’ use of out-of-school suspensions to discipline students, “Unfinished Business” notes the use of emergency removals subsequently increased since then, led by Worcester, whose 4.6 percent emergency removal rate was triple the rate of the next highest noncharter district in 2016-17.

Read more at the Telegram.