Maries R-2 principals share high disciplinary report numbers

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 11/6/19

During the Oct. 24 Maries R-2 Board of Education meeting, Director Tom Kinsey II noticed Belle High School had 50 disciplinary actions for the month.

Kinsey read from Principal Leah …

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Maries R-2 principals share high disciplinary report numbers

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During the Oct. 24 Maries R-2 Board of Education meeting, Director Tom Kinsey II noticed Belle High School had 50 disciplinary actions for the month.

Kinsey read from Principal Leah Hickerson’s report that 24 tardies, 14 disruptive speech/conduct, six insubordinations, three failed/skipped detentions, and one violation each for harassment, bus misconduct, and dress code occurred.

“I think they are really targeting the tardies,” said Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham.

Kinsey said it seemed a little high. Director Dawn Hicks said she thought it had gone up this year also.

“The alternative center is now at the high school,” Basham added.

She said the alternative center hadn’t been over there before and thinks some of the tardies were coming from the alternative center previously.

“I think we are seeing a few more incidents of disrespect coming out of the alternative program,” Basham said.

Principal Lea Hickerson was not present at the meeting, but later answered questions about the disciplinary report.

“I wouldn’t say tardies are a chronic problem at the high school,” Hickerson said, adding that the amount of tardies this month was too much higher than normal. “For our building, no, I wouldn’t say it is any higher than any other month. I wouldn’t say it is remarkably high this month compared to other months.”

Hickerson did say that the alternative center is located at the high school for the first time this year, instead of in the special education building. However, students traveling between buildings or attending the alternative center who are receiving tardies simply need to use their time between classes more wisely to avoid being issued a tardy.

The middle school reported 20 disciplinary actions, including six cases of bullying/cyber bullying, five cases of vandalism, three cases of fighting and one case each of academic dishonesty, chewing during school, possession of tobacco, smoking during school, failure to meet the conditions of suspension, and technology misconduct.

Middle School Principal Denise Baldwin said they are working to train their teachers about how to be more proactive and responsible for disciplinary actions in their classrooms.

“I think those numbers are going to decrease; and today, for the first time in two days, there were no tardies reported in the building,” Baldwin said. “Even though the numbers are high, we are being very consistent in making parental contact and encouraging teachers to do the same. I think in time it is going to start going in a downward angle, so don’t worry — we are on that.”

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