More students may be expelled for riots

JFK lockdown. (PNC file photo)

More students are being considered for expulsion due to the recent riots in two public schools, Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez said.

In an interview with Andrea Pellacani on NewsTalk K57, Fernandez said up to 20 students can face disciplinary action and be recommended for expulsion.

Thirteen students have so far been expelled because of their participation in the recent public school riots.

While every child is entitled to an education, Fernandez said expulsion is allowed through statute is there is a compelling reason to do so.

He said details for expulsion can be found in GDOE’s standard operating procedures, which list tier of offenses from minor offenses to serious ones like bringing firearms and violent behavior.

Fernandez said the students involved in the JFK and Tiyan High riots were disciplined in accordance with GDOE rules and regulations.

These include undergoing suspension and/or a disciplinary action counsel hearings.

Fernandez has been encouraging school administrators to use their authority to deliver the appropriate disciplinary consequences.

“We need to be clear that acts of violence should not be tolerated in our school communities. When it comes to violence, I will support our administrators’ decisions, especially when they recommend expulsion,” the superintendent said.

Recommendations for expulsion must go through a Disciplinary Advisory Committee (DAC) comprised of teachers, students, administrators, and a central office representative.

The DAC will make a recommendation regarding final disciplinary action and present it to the superintendent for approval. Parents and guardians may appeal an expulsion to the superintendent.

“We want our kids to be safe and to say no to violence or substances that may lead to violence in our schools. We need the continued support of our community partners to keep our schools safe,” Fernandez said.