BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — An unprecedented number of Bay District School students are getting kicked out of school.
This year, the district has already expelled 26 students and there are five more expulsion hearings scheduled for early January.
During a normal school year, an average of 10 students are expelled from Bay District Schools and this time last year only two students were kicked out of school.
“The homes aren’t as stable as we’d like them to be. We have more homeless students than we’ve ever had before,” Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said.
But local issues aren’t the only problems.
Husfelt said social media challenges, as well as increased issues nationally, are to blame.
“School should be a safe place. You should be able to come to school, learn, have fun, enjoy your time and not be threatened in any way. And so there’s just a lot of challenges blocking that right now,” Husfelt said.
When classroom disruptions occur, they impact everyone.
Husfelt said the district is spending more time on disciplinary issues than they ever have before. To compensate, the school system has hired a record number of guidance counselors.
“99% of our kids are doing exactly what we want them to do. It’s that one percent that are causing the problems but they’re taking up 90% of our energy,” Husfelt said.
More counselors help, but Husfelt said parents need to become more involved in their children’s lives.
“It’s that small percentage of students that cause most of the problems. And that’s where we really need more help. We’re getting more mentors, we have more counseling,” Husfelt said. “But we’ve got to get people to watch what their students are doing, what their students are exposed to and what they are up to.”
Husfelt said social media pranks aren’t the only reason students are being expelled.
The reasons range from fights and drugs to school threats and bringing weapons on-campus.