Children have been excluded at schools across Aberdeenshire for disobedience, offensive behaviour, assaults and even stalking over the past year.
Figures obtained by the Evening Express show that 1,409 pupils were excluded from classes at schools across the region over the 2018-19 period.
The majority of pupils – 286 – dealt with had verbally abused staff.
The data reveals 225 youngsters had shown “general or persistent disobedience” and 106 had been insolent or offensive.
Fifteen children had used an “improvised weapon” to assault pupils or staff and one child was found to be stalking another pupil.
The figures, released under freedom of information legislation, showed 1,330 pupils were excluded over the 2017-18 period compared to 1,337 pupils in 2016-17.
Some of the children had been caught fighting, spitting, fire-raising, damaging property and abusing substances.
Others had committed thefts or had taken part in malicious communications against staff or other pupils.
Fraserburgh Academy had the highest number of exclusions last year at 139 and Peterhead Academy came second with 117.
Two pupils, one from Turriff Academy and the other from Westhill Academy, have been expelled over the three-year period.
The child in Westhill was said to have physically assaulted a pupil with a weapon, refused to attend class and verbally abused other children and staff.
Head of education at Aberdeenshire Council, Vincent Docherty, said: “Exclusions are never taken lightly but there are certain situations where the actions of a pupil warrant exclusion to allow schools to investigate or address a matter.
“The vast majority of our pupils are well-behaved, and where an issue is identified, we aim to address it before exclusion becomes necessary.
“Ultimately our aim is to maintain school environments that are safe and respectful.”
An EIS spokeswoman said: “In the majority of cases, exclusion from school tends to relate to behavioural issues and are used only as a last resort.
“In an attempt to reduce such exclusions, Aberdeenshire Local Association is actively involved in a working group at LNCT level looking at violence in the workplace.
“We are also currently involved in dialogue via LNCT in reviewing an Aberdeenshire service paper on alternatives to exclusion.
“The EIS is clear that serious and persistent pupil indiscipline needs to be dealt with firmly, with classroom teachers being supported by senior management within schools and by the local authority. This is in the best interests of the pupil concerned, of the teacher and of the other pupils whose own learning can be disrupted by serious misbehaviour.”