Byline: Russell Lissau
Four more teenagers were expelled from Mundelein High School last week, bringing the total for the school year to 10.
That's significantly greater than the number at other Lake County campuses, a survey of about a dozen schools showed. Few schools reported more than one or two expulsions. Several had none.
Unlike other disciplinary actions, such as suspensions or detentions, expulsions are handed out by school boards and not administrators or teachers. Mundelein High School District 120 school board Vice President Steve Wirt called expelling a student the hardest thing a board member has to do.
"It's not a slam dunk," Wirt said of an expulsion. "There is significant conversation between the administration and the board members on each issue."
Mundelein High co-interim superintendent John Barbini said offenses that lead to expulsion typically fall in four categories: drugs, gangs, weapons or violence.
Expulsions typically last about one year. Some expelled students are allowed to attend a regional alternative education program, and some eventually return to their home schools.
The most recent expulsions at Mundelein High occurred at the March 11 board meeting following closed-door talks designed to protect students' privacy.
One teen, a freshman, was expelled for bringing a knife to school, administrators said. Three other students - two juniors and a senior - were expelled for their roles in a single drug-related matter, officials said.
With about two months until the end of the school year, the number of expulsions at Mundelein is approaching the school's total from the 2006-07 term, 13.
Eleven Mundelein High students were expelled the previous year, officials said.
The 10 students expelled this year represent less than 1 percent of Mundelein's student body, Barbini said. About 2,200 teens attend the school.
"It's obvious that the overwhelming majority of our students choose to follow our disciplinary policy," Barbini said. …