School discipline changing for Aiken County schools

School discipline changing for Aiken County schools

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 News 12 First at Five

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — As kids settle into school there’s a new officer in town, Aiken County Hearing Officer Johnny Spears.

“I really want to heard both sides of the story, is it a one time thing that this child has done, how severe is it,” Spears said.

Spears is part of an all new discipline system in the schools, instead of a tribunal hearing with three people it’s a one on one talk with the students and Spears.

“We all make mistakes and part of growing up is making a mistake, but more importantly how do you learn and progress from those mistakes and that’s the key thing we want them to learn and grow,” Spears said.

Before deciding on any punishment, he talks with them. It’s part of a new philosophy taking the focus away from punishment and back on getting kids on the right track. Dr. Shawn Foster says that’s just as important as the right consequence.

“Is there anything I can help you with to keep you on a positive path and if you find yourself making some bad decisions how can we intervene before it gets to a point where they’re back in front of the hearing officer for expulsion,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Foster said.

One shortfall of the tribunal system is the lack of a reintegration system once kids have been expelled. Now it’s Spears job to sit down with students when they come back.

“Looking back on what you did last year, what do you think you’re going to be able to improve this year, what kind of goals are you going to set for yourself?” Spears asks as an example of questions he asks the kids.

Spears goal is to face less of the same kids sitting across from him facing a hit to their education.

“I don’t take it lightly, you have a child’s future in your hands, does the child stay in school in one setting or do we have to put them out school for a set number of days or for the remainder of the year,” Spears said.

Some suspensions or other punishments will still be handled at the school level.

South Carolina Board of Education passed their own rules for officer involvement in the schools as officers are only supposed to be involved if its a criminal offense. Georgia still has the tribunal system to decide on punishment for things like assault or breaking a rule where a suspension would be longer than 10 days.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: News