Thousands of school kids have been suspended or expelled across Massachusetts — especially in suburban districts — as superintendents and principals get tough on everything from bullying to drug dealing, reports the Boston Herald. “We're all just in a time where there's more accountability,” said David Fleishman, who has been superintendent for a year in Newton, which saw a 36 percent increase in incidents prior to his arrival. “We're reporting everything more.”
Among the incidents reported by school officials involving students are: smoking, drug possession and sales, fighting, sexual harassment, stealing, making threats, carrying knives and less serious offenses, such as skipping school and acting up in class. A review of Department of Education data at 28 urban and suburban school districts between 2007 and 2010 shows huge increases in the suburbs and decreases in big cities in reported incidents. In South Hadley, there was a 17 percent increase — from 230 reported incidents in 2008 to 268 in 2010, the year 15-year-old freshman Phoebe Prince killed herself after being bullied. In Milton, reported incidents increased 46 percent, and in Marshfield, reported incidents increased 78 percent.