One Pennsylvania high school made the right decision in hiring Principal Lisa Love, who isn’t afraid to serve the students some tough love for lunch. The new principal immediately began giving out suspension slips to students who have been cutting class, or officially put, “have a large number of unexcused absences”.
Principal Love says that students are coming to school, but not attending classes. A lot of the suspension slips she’s handed out are for one-day suspensions, most of them in-school.
“The problem I’ve noticed here as principal is that students are coming to school but they are not going to classes when they get here,” Love said in a meeting with parents and teachers. “Many parents send their kids to school and they’re thinking they’re going to class. I needed to reach out because of the enormous number not going to class.”
She felt that she needed to do something radical to let the students know that this was not okay. Instead of coming to class, the principal says, students gather in the cafeteria, gymnasiums, and hallways, which is also disruptive for students who do come to class.
AmericaNow.com also says:
“If you’re not in class, all you’re here to do then is to wreak havoc upon the school and disrupt the work that we are trying to do here. And that’s to focus on student achievement,” the principal said.
School officials spoke with reporters in an informal news conference prior to meeting with parents. Officials explained that the school has new expectations for its students, as the school has struggled with a low graduation rate and poor test scores for some time, according to Fox News.
Assistant Principal Keith Edmonds says that the school issued notices for excessive absences for students who have missed at least 35 classes in the marking period of 45 days, or nine weeks. Missing 35 classes is equal to a week of unexcused absences, as students are scheduled for seven classes each day.
Edmonds says that when news of the suspensions began to spread, parents started showing up at the school to provide documentation for absences in order to help their children avoid the penalty.
“This was a hard decision for me to make,” Love said. “But I had to get the attention of the community to let them know that we are here. And we’re about to do some wonderful things for students and the community and we want this to be a school that everyone is proud of. And this was probably the eye opener we needed to make that happen.”