Student: 'We used to try to get suspended...its really not a punishment'

Student: 'We used to try to get suspended...its really not a punishment' »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Skyler Smith recently got his G.E.D. Raven Evans is a freshman at Eisenhower High School.

Both say they've been suspended more times than they count.

We caught up with both of them at a park to talk about what their experiences were like.

Reporter: "When you were suspended what were your days like?"
Raven: "I just wake up late, go around, do whatever."
Reporter: "Did you keep up with your school work?"
Raven: "No."

Skyler has a similar story.

"Wake up in the morning, go hang out with whoever else is suspended, probably go smoke a little bit of weed and get in trouble," Skyler said.

Skyler and Raven say the same goes for just about every student they know.

I pulled the numbers to find out how many students have been suspended this year. In Yakima, over 560 student have been suspended. Compare that to Sunnyside, where over 70 students have received the punishment. Yakima's student body is about two-and-a-half times larger than Sunnyside's.


"We used to try to get suspended," Raven said. "Like all my friends used to, just to hang out. It's really not a punishment."

I learned that school districts typically do not keep tabs on suspended students. Police are the only real monitoring system, and that's only if they spot a student on the street during school hours.

YPD Gang Unit Coordinator, David Cortez, says officers see many suspended students get into criminal activity, especially thefts and robbery.

He says vulnerable students are exposed to gangs and other temptations.

"Usually their ego gets in the way and they start to do things behind their parents back," Cortez said.

Raven says she might have learned her lesson if her suspension forced her to stay in school, not out.

"If they just shortened suspension times and made sure kids actually went to school, they would get the point that they're for real," Raven said.