HCPSS MPIA Request #2022-104

Liz Bowie
The Baltimore Banner
Requested Information
This is a request under the Maryland Public Information Act, State Government § Article 10-611 to 618. The Baltimore Banner is requesting data on disciplinary infractions in the school system in the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year. Specifically, each year you report suspension data to the Maryland Department of Education using specific categories. I would like the number of suspensions that occurred for two categories: weapons and attacks/threats/fights. Those two categories are broken down into subcategories. I would like the numbers for those subcategories as well. Please give me the data broken down by elementary, middle and high school as well as by race, gender and students with disabilities, as it is in the state data.

In addition, please provide numbers on how many staff have been injured in attacks, fighting or encounters with students that required them to file a workman’s compensation claim during the first semester of this school year and during the 2018-2019 school year.
Date Received
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, please find below data from an existing mid-year report to the Maryland State Department of Education which includes incidents of suspensions (in school and out of school) resulting from the specific categories/subcategories sought, and demographics of those receiving the suspension.

Additionally, responsive to your request for counts of staff who have been injured in attacks, fighting or encounters with students that required them to file a Workers’ Compensation claim, please find the counts of employee incidents reported to our Workers Compensation Specialist, regardless of whether medical attention was necessary:

First Quarter 2018

  • Assault by Student:  0
  • Combative Student:  65
  • Intervening in a Fight:  7

First Quarter 2021

  • Assault by Student:  0
  • Combative Student:  87
  • Intervening in a Fight:  3

Please note, a report of just those incidents that ultimately resulted in a Workers’ Compensation claim does not currently exist. Under the MPIA process, and as advised in the Sixteenth 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 generate new data or summarize data, nor is an agency required to program a new record if the type of data extraction requested is outside its normal course of business per the MPIA GP § 4-205(c)(4)(iii).

HCPSS has made substantial efforts to ensure the accuracy of the above information; however, data collection and reporting is consistently subject to change. Please be mindful when comparing data as many variances can occur between reports based on date pulled, parameters used, categories included, etc.

Responsive Documents
HCPSS must protect against the potential disclosures of personally identifiable information about students as required by 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. In accordance, HCPSS follows the Maryland State Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting and suppresses the following from responsive records (see also specific suppression techniques contained within the responsive record): populations that fall below 10; percentages that are less than or equal to 5, or greater than or equal to 95; categories directly related to specific student records; and/or information that can reasonably identify an individual student or reveals information from an individual student’s record or could do so when combined with other publicly accessible data.

*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.