Rumore: "Disturbing" findings in student behavior survey

Buffalo Teacher's Federation President urges district to have mandatory interventions for suspended students

Mike Baggerman
January 17, 2020 - 12:46 pm
Phil Rumore. January 17, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Phil Rumore. January 17, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Buffalo Teacher's Federation President Phil Rumore said he is "disturbed" over the findings of a school safety study conducted by the teacher's union.

VIEW: Survey responses

According to their study, 83 percent of teachers surveyed said disruptive student behavior is leading to unacceptable learning conditions within the district.

"It shows that in most schools, the student's disruptive behavior is showing a great concern for teachers and the learning conditions for the kids that want to learn," Rumore said. "But, more importantly, there are these students who are not getting intervention services to find out what's going on (when they are suspended."

Rumore said he wants the district to have a mandatory intervention service using a professional to deter kids from using the same behavior again.

There were 749 teachers who responded to the survey. Some of the disruptive incidents include students swearing at teachers, making threatening gestures, refusing to follow directions, falsely calling 911 to report an active shooter, and more.

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash released the following statement.

"Suspensions are a function of behavior.  Behavior is a manifestation of what is going on in a child’s life.  90% of our students have extraordinary needs including trauma, depression, anxiety, and other health issues.  All of us are part of the solution to helping our students grow into healthy adults – parents, students, teachers, staff, community.  To this end, as an essential part of the Education Bargain, the District is providing an extraordinary array of services and supports for all of our students and an extraordinary menu of professional development for all of our staff, including teachers."

Dr. Fatima Morrell and Dr. Tonja Williams of Buffalo Public Schools said there is absolutely no cover up at Buffalo Public Schools. They said people may not know what a disciplinary outcome for a student.

"We are not to fudge any numbers or cover up anything because the only way we can get to the root cause of issues and try to support the children is to know accurately what is going on," they said.

They also said that mandatory intervention for a suspended student would be welcomed. The school does have restorative conferencing for students who have misbehaved.

In 2018, the teacher's union also released a "disturbing" study on student behavior.


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