Forest Park, IL: Discipline referrals "skyrocketed" at middle school; down in other schools

July 9, 2018, Forest Park (IL) Review: Problem behavior up at middle school, down elsewhere,-down-elsewhere/ The number of discipline referrals skyrocketed at Forest Park Middle School (FPMS) this past school year, while problem behavior by elementary school students saw a steep decline, according to a presentation of disciplinary data at a Board of Education meeting on June 12. Forest Park District 91officials plan to analyze discipline data from the past year and adjust staffing to target particular behavioral issues among student groups. ... During the 2017-18 school year, the number of in-school suspensions in Forest Park School District 91 increased to 40 from 15 the school year before. At the same time, the number of out-of-school suspensions decreased to nine from 33 the year before. There were 774 total discipline referrals in the district during the 2017-18 school year, a number which has essentially remained steady over the past three years. Most discipline referrals came from FPMS, which comprised 39 percent of all complaints. FPMS logged 305 referrals during the 2017-18 school year, up from 199 the year before. Complaints categorized as inappropriate language/disruption increased 296 percent year over year, with 99 referrals this school year. Referrals for disrespect increased to 75, up 150 percent from the year prior. Charges of defiance also increased by 21 percent to 52 referrals for the school year. Eighth-graders were the most problematic group. Hantson said one of the reasons for the middle school's "drastic increase" in bad behavior can be credited to a single student who has since been transferred out of the district.... "Part of life is not only learning academics, it's the social-emotional part of that learning, to cooperate and work with each other and find a solution, instead of creating a problem," board member Kim Rostello said at the meeting. At Field-Stevenson Elementary School, the number of discipline referrals increased to 100 from 82 the school year before. Fourth-graders had the most referrals out of all the grades, with 38 total. ... Grant-White Elementary School also saw a decreased number of discipline referrals, with 152 last year, compared to 266 during 2016-17. Fourth-graders had the highest incidents of referrals, with 70 for the year. The most common reasons for referrals were minor disrespect, disruption and physical contact/aggression….