HCPSS MPIA Request #2018-385

Requested Information
For each of the last three academic years completed (2015-2017) provide number of students arrested in school by race, number Hispanic students arrested, Number male and female of arrested students, number arrested by grade, number of English Language Learners arrested, % of school arrests by SRO assigned to school, average days absent from school per arrest, and number of arrests by school.
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, HCPSS did not begin collecting arrest data until the 2015-2016 school year. Available under MPIA 2018-224, the fields (school name, school level, gender, race, date of arrest, arresting offense and location of arrest) included in the HCPSS submission of 2015-2016 data to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) were the only details collected from police reports for those incidents the local police indicated were student arrests (as we were not yet collecting our own data) for this initial report.

For the 2016-2017 school year, using the information/fields available from 2016 Maryland Student Arrest Data Collection Manual, additional information was collected on each arrest and compiled by HCPSS at the student level. At the individual student level however, the specific items requested, including race, ethnicity, gender, grade, English language learners, officer, type of arrest, days absent, and school, even with personally identifiable information (PII) removed, have the potential to reveal educational records under FERPA.

Those fields at the individual student level would require us to apply disclosure avoidance techniques in order to be preserve PII. The application of such techniques, much like the technical skills required to program a database to pull new reports/records, constitutes the creation of an entirely new record. Under the MPIA process, and as advised in the Fourteenth Edition of the Maryland Public Information Act Manual created by Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General, an agency is only obligated to produce existing records and is not required to program/generate new reports that are not already used in the normal course of business. Please note, while HCPSS does not have arrest data for the years requested in an aggregated format, only in the chart along with all associated student-level data, it will likely be available through MSDE reporting in the future although we are not aware of their timeframe.


Responsive Documents
Per discussions to disclose data that is releasable without further disclosure avoidance techniques required, the attached contains 2016-2017 data mirroring data collected and released for 2015-2016. In order to protect against potential release of a disciplinary record of an individual student, which would be protected under both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students, we have separated out the arresting offenses on the second sheet of this document. Column definitions/parameters for this data can be found in the 2016 Maryland Student Arrest Data Collection Manual: http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DSFSS/SSSP/StudentArrest/20152016StudentArrestsManual072016.pdf.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.