Even though the overall suspension rate has declined over the past three years at Evanston Township High School, those related to drugs and dangerous weapons have rebounded this year.

A report presented to the District 202 School Board last week gave a detailed analysis of suspensions for the 2012-2013 school year.

The good news was that the total number of suspensions had declined from 1,262 in 2010-2011, to 1,097 in 2011-2012, to 971 in the year just ended.

The bad news was that suspensions due to drug offenses had increased from 65 last year to 103 this year, while dangerous weapons suspensions rose from 7 last year to 34 this year.

Both categories had experienced a decline last year from the year before, when drug-related suspensions were 105 and weapons offenses were 10.

When categorized by race, the 103 drug suspensions involved 63 from black students, 25 from Hispanic, 11 from white, 2 from American Indian or Alaska Native, and 2 from multi-racial.

The dangerous weapons category found 14 from blacks, 11 from whites, 8 from Hispanic, and 1 from multi-racial.

Overall, some 351 of the school’s 3,155 students received one or more suspensions this year. Of this number, 231, or 66 percent, were black; 53, or 15 percent, were white; and 52, or 15 percent, were Hispanic.

For the student body as a whole, 43 percent are white, 32 percent are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon pointed out that some 88 percent of the school’s students received no suspensions at all.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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