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DHS sees decrease in student infractions

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – DeKalb High School officials said the number of student infractions from the first semester are down, year over year.

In a report presented to the school board Tuesday night, DHS Dean Sean Chamberlain said there is a 40 percent reduction in the number of referrals between first semester 2011-12 and first semester 2012-13.

Chamberlain cautioned that the data might seem misleading. Not mentioned in the report, Chamberlain said, is the fact that 55 percent of DHS students did not receive any referral.

“We’re only looking at 45 percent of our population here,” Chamberlain said.

Out of the 1,700-plus students that attend DHS, 113 students – or 6.5 percent of the student body – received five or more referrals in the first semester. Chamberlain said the majority of students who are written up usually offend only once.

In the first semester, DHS students received 1,395 referrals for tardiness, 250 referrals for insubordination, 103 referrals for parking lot violations and 224 referrals for being in an unauthorized area or skipping class.

Compared to last year, this year’s tally of tardies, insubordination and skipping class is a 33 percent, 44 percent and 16 percent reduction, respectively.

“That’s a staggering reduction,” said board member Cohen Barnes. “I am absolutely amazed.”

Five DHS students were penalized for weapons during the first semester 2012-13, an increase of four compared to the same period last year. This year’s figures also take into account bullying as a result of race and ethnicity, gender and other reasons.

DHS Principal Tamra Ropeter said none of the weapons infractions involved firearms, and that small pocketknives also count as weapons. Ropeter said at least two of the infractions occurred at an alternative school but involved DHS students, which is why it was counted.

The different types of bullying were highlighted this way because it is helpful for school officials to identify what kind of resources they need to combat it, Ropeter said.

Clinton Rosette and Huntley middle schools also saw similar drops in the total number of referrals, with a 28 percent and 25 percent reduction, respectively.

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