Area school board creates in-school 'suspension rooms'

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Students in Kennewick could soon find themselves serving suspensions at school instead of being sent home.

The Kennewick School Board plans to spend about $210,000 to create in-school suspension rooms at each of its middle and high schools over the next two years.

The Tri-City Herald reports that sending students home for a day or more can get parents' attention and also keeps them from disrupting other students. But it also can put a student at risk of falling behind academically and can give misbehaving students exactly what they want — a day out of school.

“Sometimes you just need a place for students to cool off,” Assistant Superintendent Ron Williamson told the Herald.

But at least one teacher wasn't on board with the idea. Randy Hoover, a physics teacher at Kennewick High, told the Herald in-school suspension often become like a "babysitting gig."

"I'm not sure it modifies their behavior the way we want it to," Hoover said.

A study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health found that marijuana use was higher in schools in Australia and Washington state where suspended students are sent home.