School tribunal offering options

  • Follow Metro

A Morgan Road Middle School eighth-grader slugged it out with a classmate on a bus then turned and shoved the bus driver who wouldn't let him get off.

The push was so hard that the driver nearly lost his breath, according to a discipline report of the November incident.

A school tribunal found the 14-year-old guilty of violating Rule 4(B) of the Code of Student Conduct, the more severe of two rules against assaulting school personnel.

Earlier this school year, the student would have been suspended and banned from school campuses for the remainder of the year, no questions asked.

A recent change, however, is giving students the option of accepting an out-of-school suspension or serving the same amount of time at Bungalow Road Alternative School.

The Richmond County school system has been revising its tribunal process this school year. Among the changes was the option for students to stay in school rather than being kicked out.

"At no time should we have to choose between education and no education," Barbara Pulliam, the chairwoman of the school board's instruction committee, said in favor of the change.

"Don't get me wrong. I feel the student should be punished," she said.

But that's why Richmond County has an alternative school -- to serve students such as these, Mrs. Pulliam said.

"I just don't think zero education is the answer," she said. "I think that child should still be learning."

Students who choose not to be suspended must sign a contract agreeing to behave and follow the rules of the alternative school, as well as attend an orientation meeting at the school with a parent.

"I think by having a choice you're having more of an active involvement," board member Helen Minchew said. "I don't see many kids' parents choosing to have them suspended."

The alternative school has proven so successful in changing the behavior of students that some parents ask to keep their children there, she said.

"Sometimes kids need a wake-up experience," Mrs. Minchew said. "It's keeping them off the streets. It's giving them a chance to graduate."

In the 2007-08 school year, 17,731 suspensions were handed out in Richmond County, according to The Augusta Chronicle 's analysis of state discipline records.

Data isn't available on how many students have chosen to stay in school instead of being suspended.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (10)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
giwi
96
Points
giwi 12/27/08 - 06:32 am
0
0

I hope that the bus driver

I hope that the bus driver had the option to press charges on this punk!!!!!

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 12/27/08 - 10:54 am
0
0

Yeah, Ms. Minchew, our bus

Yeah, Ms. Minchew, our bus drivers need to be punching bags so that our students can have those meaningful "wake-up" experiences.

laprince
0
Points
laprince 12/27/08 - 12:04 pm
0
0

I'm glad the RCB-of-E is

I'm glad the RCB-of-E is changing some of the rules. The tribunal judges have a one track mind. Unfortunately I had to go there with my child. Evidence gets presented and truth in the case is revealed to them and they sit there even when the child is proven innocent and they sentence unjustly anyway and tell you, the parent you have 20 days to appeal. Don't get me wrong, I know some of the kids really are guilty. The sad thing is I've watched the teachers get up and lie to cover there wrong doing in the matter. Some situations could be handled right at the school. They suspend your child so they don't have to deal with the situation..I wish more people could be like Dr. Frazier. There are too many chumps in the system. A lot of teachers and principals are chumps. That's what they get for taking prayer and God out of school as a result they are affraid. There is no fear in God.

laprince
0
Points
laprince 12/27/08 - 12:06 pm
0
0

Corporal punishment could

Corporal punishment could have taken care of this issue.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 12/27/08 - 01:27 pm
0
0

Alternative School is also a

Alternative School is also a joke. Make it like prison or a boot camp to deter kids from wanting to go there. As a former deputy I know some kids I dealt with WANTED to get sent there so they could be back with their friends. Sending them to YDC is also a joke because they treat the kids like they are in daycare. Richmond County needs its own, RCSO run, juvenile detention center. One that will treat these punks like the criminals they are.

ladie
1
Points
ladie 12/27/08 - 02:38 pm
0
0

laprince, i'm sorry to say

laprince, i'm sorry to say but ''dr.frazier'' is bad as the kids. he talks to them as if he ain't got no sense either.i get sick and tired of people putting that man up on a pedstal he yells at the kids talks to them any kind of way and he has no respect for his faculty or staff,only the faculty & staff members that he like and if you're not one of his pets then you ain't nothing to that man,don't get it twisted b/4 you comment on that man get to be around that man to see the real him don't believe what you read and hear or see on tv about him !!!

gettuffonjuvycrime
0
Points
gettuffonjuvycrime 12/27/08 - 11:20 pm
0
0

Frazier favortie saying...

Frazier favortie saying... beat their head with a nite stick until the white meat shows.......fine example..... Push and shove a bus driver on purpose and you get to stay in school. Dont worry about the bus driver.....who cares.....have sex in school and stay at school....all good.....tribunal is doing a great job...

outspokenmomof4
0
Points
outspokenmomof4 12/28/08 - 12:12 am
0
0

I just wonder about the

I just wonder about the students who are wanting to get an education...WHY DO they have to deal with out-of-Control "Students"... so the " student" who doesn't want an education can waste valuable instruction time in a class room (an out) with their disruption?? MOST of the students in a classroom are there for an education... I thought majority won....Parents need to go to the principals and demand that the disruptive students be dealt with ...more voices will get heard!!!! WE do need more "backbone" leaders!!! 2 alternative schools: 1 middle, 1 high... those who are repeat offenders or serious threat to others need Jail time and/or a New YDC ( like boot camp ,Challenge Camp) Plus we need Judges to stop going soft of these kids... Just a thought!!!

GOP HS Teacher
0
Points
GOP HS Teacher 12/28/08 - 12:34 am
0
0

I teach at an Alternative HS

I teach at an Alternative HS in another county. If you don't get Richmond Co straight, you will end up like Clayton Co. Got to enforce the rules you have--no exceptions. That is how we do it at my school and we mean business.

If you are under 16 you MUST go to school. If you are Sp Ed you MUST go to school until you graduate, unless you withdraw after age 16. It may not be the accustomed school setting, but education must be given to Sp Ed students no matter what--Federal Law. How about night school?

laprince
0
Points
laprince 12/28/08 - 02:32 am
0
0

A lot of times Frazier is

A lot of times Frazier is joking around and I'm sure he has his faults but I have been around him enough to know that he does know how to handle the out of control students. He once told me that the teachers he don't like are the ones who don't really care about the students because they are only there to teach just for a paycheck. The kids he's around and have been around need to be yelled at. Tubman and the Alternative school.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Area unemployment drops

State labor department figures indicate a slight decline in the unemployment rate for the Augusta metro area for March.
Loading...