February 26, 2019

NASHVILLE: Teacher Town Hall: MNPS discipline policies spark ‘chaos.’

More than any other issue, these veteran Metro Schools educators said that student discipline — or the lack of it — has become a huge concern under Dr. Shawn Joseph, as the schools director tries to dramatically reduce the number of students being suspended.

Elementary school guidance counselor Constance Wade recounted the stories that teachers tell.

“Students are in school and they are disruptive and they are running through the halls and they are using profanity and hurting other students,” she said.

While the teachers acknowledged that Joseph’s push to keep children in school — especially children of color — is a good idea, that hasn’t stopped students from taking advantage of those good intentions.

“You reduce discipline because we cannot suspend students,” Wade said.

“But by the same token, you’ve kind of opened up a Pandora’s box because students aren’t always feeling like they get consequences so they continue.”

Retired middle school teacher Karen Gordon said, “Students walk in and out of classes. They walk out and when they come back, they are laughing and it’s more disruptive because they know they can do it. ”

“It’s like a domino effect,” said middle school teacher Sonji Collins.

Unexpectedly! I mean, who could have foreseen this happening, just because the same thing has happened everywhere else it’s tried?

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