A recent report by "Texans Care for Children" says Killeen ISD suspends the third highest number of students among all Texas school districts.
Last year, Hunter Pimentel, a four-year-old, started Pre-K at Ceder Valley Elementary School in Killeen.
"The first day of meet the teacher we went in, went to talk to the teacher, explain to her, you know ... we have some issues," Susan Schenck, Hunter's grandmother, said.
Hunter's grandparents, his primary caregivers, had him followed by Austin Neurological Associates and had other testing done.
"Take everything I have, let's work together as a team. Let's do what we can for the better outcome for Hunter," Schenck added.
Schenck said her grandson has been suspended more times than she can count. She would get phone calls from Hunter's school almost daily asking her to pick him up before noon.
"Well, you just need to medicate him. You just need to get him on medicine. He needs to be placed on medicine. I would go back to the doctors and they would say he's four. He's too young to be medicated," Schenck said.
Hunter's grandmother said she knows the solution needs to start with the parents but is frustrated Hunter continues to be suspended.
"Please, help me, help you, help him... and all your answer is, is to suspend him?" Schenck added.
But Hunter isn't the only one who has been getting kicked out of school for a period of time. During the 2015-2016 school year, the Texans Care for Children report states Killeen ISD had 495 Pre-K students suspended 1,460 times, in-school and out-of-school suspensions combined.
Texans Care for Children used enrollment numbers provided by the Texas Education Agency for their report.
"I'm appalled at those numbers," Schenck said.
Killeen ISD issued a statement regarding the report:
“Killeen ISD is not able to verify or corroborate that organization’s numbers regarding the rate of in-school suspensions.
Below is a table that shows our numbers for 2015-16, last year and this year so far. The asterisk is a reminder the year isn’t finished.
The last two columns give you the total number of each action and the number of unique PK students involved in those incidents.
Total PK for year
So what this shows is that in 2015-16, for example, we had 319 Pre-K students who were involved in a total of 880 in-school suspensions. We had a total of 4,038 Pre-K students that year. So our rate of in-schools suspensions per 100 Pre-K students in 2015-16 was 21.79, not 26 as reported by that organization. We don’t know how they arrived at that number, but it doesn’t seem to be accurate.
In any event, the number of out-of-school suspensions is down by more than half since 2015-16 and the trend of in school suspensions, leading into the final weeks of the school year, is down as well.”
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