Education

Boston Mayor Convenes Meeting on Student Discipline

By Millicent Lawton — April 01, 1992 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Responding to recent violent incidents and concerns about student-discipline problems raised by a high-school headmaster and others in the Boston Public Schools, Mayor Raymond Flynn of Boston late last week called a meeting of top city and school officials to try to reach agreement on how to address the problem.

During the more than two-hour meeting, the Mayor, Schools Superintendent Lois Harrison-Jones, the School Committee’s chairman, Paul Parks, and representatives of other youth and city agencies, agreed that a small number of violent and abusive students are disrupting the city’s high schools and should be removed to an alternate setting, a spokesman for Mr. Flynn said.

However, no agreement was reached on the procedures for removing those students or where they should go, said Neil Sullivan, Mr. Flynn’s chief policy adviser.

Mr. Flynn last week supported the views of an outspoken headmaster, Sidney Smith of the English High School, who, in an appearance before the school committee last week and in a letter to school officials, has advocated giving headmasters and principals the power to expel students.

“The Mayor’s position is that in the case of violent or abusive behavior, especially in repeated [incidents], the headmasters should have the power to remove the students from the school,’' said Mr. Sullivan.

Mr. Flynn believes the lack of such empowerment is inconsistent with the district’s support of site-based management, Mr. Sullivan added.

However, Ms. Harrison-Jones is not prepared to give building administrators that kind of power, said Mr. Sullivan.

Currently, only the superintendent may expel a student, and only after a series of hearings has been held.

The current expulsion procedure “takes too long,’' Mr. Smith said in an interview last week.

“It separates the infraction from the response [in a way that is] very ineffective and irresponsible,’' said Mr. Smith, who sits on a committee working to revise the discipline code.

In recent weeks, students have been stabbed and shot inside or just outside Boston schools.

Mr. Sullivan said Mayor Flynn is planning to meet with Gov. William F. Weld to discuss the cost of identifying violent and abusive high-school students and creating alternate educational settings for them.

Boston currently has a short-term education and counseling center for students caught with weapons other than guns. A similar center for students using weapons including guns has been proposed.

The same officials are to meet again this week, Mr. Sullivan said.

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 1992 edition of Education Week as Boston Mayor Convenes Meeting on Student Discipline

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP