Muscogee Co. schools study student discipline

Published: Nov. 7, 2014 at 4:11 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM EST
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(WTVM) - A Georgia senate committee studying school punishments in districts throughout the state met in the Muscogee County board room Thursday, Nov. 6 to examine how the students are being disciplined.

State Senator Emanuel Jones of Decatur is leading an effort to review what, if anything, needs to be changed about the way students identified as having behavior problems are dealt with in schools throughout Georgia

At issue are the types of punishments school administrators impose, the length of time students spend in alternative schools, and expulsion rates. One parent at the meeting compared school suspensions to vacations, calling them "counter-productive."

"That is a downfall of it," said Shaniqua Williams. "I feel like we should do more to discipline them in other ways instead of suspending them so they can have their leisure time. We should do more to get involved with them."

Superintendent David Lewis says his goal is to create a disciplinary system that identifies the cause of the misbehavior and aims to modify it, rather than giving punishments just for the sake of punishment.

The study is also checking to see if there are differences in the way students of different racial backgrounds are treated in school.

At the end of their tour across the state, the committee is going to report its findings to the lieutenant governor on December 1 and offer their suggestions about whether new legislation should be presented.

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