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Friday, December 22, 2006

Richest Black County Has Most Violent Schools in State

Prince George's County is the richest majority black county in the United States. It also leads the state of Maryland in students suspended for offenses. There were 13,598 students suspended during the 2005-2006 school year. This represents ten percent of the 133,000 students in the county. Offenses leading to suspensions range from carrying weapons, fighting and disrupting classes to areson and sex offenses.

There were 22,564 offenses in the 2005-2006 school year (exceeds suspensions because of multiple offenses by same student). Most offenses, 9,063, were for disrespect, insubordination or disruption. There were 6,073 attacks, threats or fighting, 492 weapons offenses, 358 dangerous substance offenses, 158 arson, fire or explosives offenses, 148 sex offenses and 6,272 offenses listed as "other."

Unfortunately, of the 6,073 attacks, 333 suspensions were for physical attacks on teachers or staff members and 339 suspensions for verbal or physical threats to teachers or staff members. One thing is clear, there needs to be more severe penalties for all acts of violence in the schools (Sources: Maryland State Department of Education, The Gazette: Clinton, Ft. Washington)

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