Why are expulsions on the rise?

For eight of the last 10 years, the Ripon Area School District had a positive streak: no student expulsions.

That ended last year — with alleged drug activity at Ripon Middle School — and now it seems the trend is going in the wrong direction.

An open-records request from the Commonwealth confirmed the sudden uptick. No students were expelled in the eight years from 2006-07 to 2013-14, but during the last two school years, there have been a total of seven.

One of those was for a weapon at school, while the other six were for drugs.

Ripon expulsions include:

2006-07 — None

2007-08 — None

2008-09 — None

2009-10 — None

2010-11 — None

2011-12 — None

2012-13 — None

2013-14 — None

2014-15 — Three (all drugs)

2015-16 — Four (one weapon, three drugs)

The district has acknowledged that the first three expulsions last school year related to Ripon Middle School, but the district has been reluctant to share ages or schools of the four expulsions that followed.

The latest expulsion came last week Wednesday.

“The district can confirm that at its special meeting [last week] Wednesday evening, the Board of Education did expel a student for engaging in conduct while at school and under the supervision of school authorities which endangered the health and safety of others, which in this case included having drugs at school,” Superintendent Mary Whitrock said. “The board determined that the student is not eligible for early readmission before the expiration of the respective expulsion.”

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