I read today's article (See Nov. 29 Times “Parents urged to help with-discipline”) that you wrote with great concern. I suggest you write a follow-on article as to what constitutes an "alternative school" and why it is the "last step." Maybe it should be one of the very early steps.
My opinion is that every school system needs an "honor school" - meaning well-behaved students, not academic honors - and an alternative school using the same building but which would start when the honor school is dismissed for the day.
I'd also staff it with "prior military service" teachers. Some of the best teachers I ever saw were sergeants who simply had a way to teach the unwilling. For example, the immediate imposition of a couple minutes of the "front leaning rest position (push-up)" works to rectify a lot of mis-behaviors.