|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1999 : US schools Jul 1999|
Associated Press, 13 July 1999
School safety group considers various actions
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A group formed in the wake of the Littleton, Colo. school shootings is considering local safety measures that include student volunteer work and the return of spanking.
The Committee on School Violence and Prayer plans to submit its recommendations to Laramie County School District No. 1 trustees, state and federal officials.
Trustee Leonard Mosher said he would like to see laws passed in Wyoming that guarantee parents the right to physically discipline their children.
Debbie Martinez of Cheyenne said schools should allow prayer and religious teaching because the country's morals began to decay when prayer was abolished in school in the 1960s.
"Do you call it merely a coincidence that it was the early '60s when prayer was taken out of schools?" she said Thursday. "Religion goes hand in hand with violence in schools."
Sunny Kaste, a public health nurse, recommended the community adopt a program that encourages children to be responsible.
"A lot of the recommendations seem to be very punitive," Kaste said. While punishment could be useful, "make sure we balance it with something positive."
Alexis Sabado, 16, of East High School, objected to the idea of a dress code for staff and students.
"Even if they all look alike, it's not changing their personalities," she said.
Other ideas include metal detectors, surveillance cameras, receiving credit for working or volunteering, creating a college and vocational track, random drug testing for staff and students and creating a place for anonymous students to report violence or possible violence.
"I would love to see us do a strong partnership with the business community," said Jan Felton, an administrator at Central High School. "But school can't become a secondary issue."
The group hopes to have its recommendations ready by the end of July and plans to spend August focusing on the issue of prayer in school.
The committee plans to meet again Tuesday.
The Tampa Tribune, Florida, 16 July 1999
Lawmakers seek advice to boost safety in schools
A Senate task force hears testimony about solving school safety problems
By Marilyn Brown of The Tampa Tribune
TARPON SPRINGS -- If students can use the Internet to share ideas for killing a teacher, schools can use technology to make classrooms safer, a University of South Florida educator advised state lawmakers Thursday.
"The technology is there to link schools, the community, law enforcement," George Batsche told the eight-member Florida Senate Task Force on School Safety at Tarpon Springs City Hall.
"Every school has a rhythm, hot spots. You can predict those episodes," said Batsche, USF's psychology graduate programs coordinator.
It's also predictable by the time children are 3 or 4 years old whether they may become violent or disruptive, he said, emphasizing the need for early intervention.
The bipartisan task force was leading its second of five planned meetings across the state to gather information for future legislative decisions on school safety.
Batsche, along with colleague Hilda Roselli, also said educators and students need more training and role playing in handling violence. Roselli is USF's assistant dean for undergraduate programs and oversees teacher internships.
A student may have to participate in a fabricated name-calling and shoving incident as many as 50 times to learn anger management, Batsche said.
Students also must be academically successful or there will be tension in school, he warned. While he lauded the recent raising of academic standards as an "excellent idea," he said it could create a "group of very angry kids who can't compete at that level."
"Imagine going to work every day and being unsuccessful," he told the politicians. "Then imagine you can't leave."
Lawmakers also heard from Ruth Peters, a Clearwater psychologist invited to testify about early warning signs of children in trouble.
Peters suggested school administrators put pictures of students from Colorado's Columbine High School, where 15 people died in an assault in April, on the back of their office doors to remind them to look for troubled students.
Parents should force children into some form of public service, Peters added, to combat their natural self-absorption with healthy perspective. They must be "spiritually involved," which need not mean religion but should be "something for the soul," she said.
Counselors "just yakking at them" won't work, she said. "Many adolescents don't want to die, but they don't want to live. ... About 99 percent just want to check out for a while."
The six-man, two-woman task force led by Sens. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, and Buddy Dyer, D-Orlando, has some members already defining agendas.
Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, said he will push to reinstate corporal punishment in public schools and wants to remove the stigma that vocational schools are just for disruptive students.
Latvala said he's considering more teacher training and more social workers in schools, as well as requiring more students to volunteer in their communities. He said he also will look at middle and high school grade levels to see if students enter those schools too young.
The task force is expected to wrap up its work with recommendations to Senate President Toni Jennings, R-Orlando, by Oct. 1.
© Copyright 1999 The Tampa Tribune
Nevada County Picayune, Arkansas, 21 July 1999
Early Graduation, Lunch Prices Issue At Emmet Schools
By John Miller
Students at Emmet Elementary will have new handbooks when school starts Aug. 18.
The handbook will primarily be the same as the one for high school students, but will have the school's mission statement and information concerning corporal punishment.
According to Superintendent Gene Ross, different terminology will be used in the new handbooks explaining what the district does about punishing students.
It also has information spelling out what the district will do in areas of health to make sure students aren't exposed to contagious diseases.
At this time, many parents don't know Emmet has an in school suspension (ISS) policy, what it is or how it works. This data has been added to the handbook.
This discussion was followed by a talk about when and how students should be given licks as opposed to detention, suspension or ISS.
Both principals agreed most students would rather take licks than be sent to detention, but there are some parents in the district who don't want their children to be spanked. Other parents, though, have said they want to be notified before a spanking is given, but approve of the discipline.
Dr. Ross said there are five offenses resulting in students being spanked or suspended. Those are having fireworks on campus, theft, leaving campus, fighting or bringing a weapon on campus.
He also explained the guidelines involved before a child is spanked. These are first telling the child what they did. Then, a witness is required.
No child may be spanked in front of other children, and licks are to be administered to the lower part of the posterior only.
The possibility of having a Saturday school was brought up as a method of helping with discipline.
The board agreed whoever taught the Saturday school would have to be strict.
This will be examined and discussed again, with the policy to be amended at a later date should a Saturday school be adopted.
THE ARCHIVE index
About this website
www.corpun.com Main menu page