Disruptive behavior must end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

JACKSON – The members of the Northampton County School Board of Education have had it with disruptive behavior in their schools.

During her report to the school board at Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Kathi Gibson said she wanted to address student discipline and disruptive behavior in the schools.

“We are in the process of talking to parents,” said Gibson. “We will do what we need to do to keep our schools safe and so our teachers can teach,”

She said disruptive conduct is not fair to those students who have come to school for an education.

Board member Charles Tyner showed his support for the superintendent.

“You have the full support of this board,” said Tyner. “Our children can not run our schools.”

He added that parents must start sending their children to school with the expectation to learn and if students exhibited unwanted behavior they would have to face the consequences.

“They will not be in Northampton County Schools,” he said.

Board Chairperson Catherine Moody agreed with Tyner repeating that Gibson had the full support of the board and addressing parents about disciplining their children.

“We have zero tolerance for bullying and disruptive behavior in our classrooms,” said Moody. “Your children will be coming back home (if they display this behavior).”

While it wasn’t addressed specifically by the school board, there was a recent case of disruptive behavior at Northampton County High School-East. There, on Feb. 27, one student stabbed another during an early afternoon fight that broke out in the gymnasium. A 14-year-old was stabbed once in the upper right thigh area, resulting in the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office arresting 17-year-old Anthony Gilchrist of Margarettsville on the charges of assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a weapon on school property.

In other business, the board skipped the first and second reading of a revision to the Northampton County Schools Uniform Policy and brochure to be passed out to students, and approved the final reading of the revision.

The revision would require all Northampton County Schools students to wear uniforms. Before the uniform/dress policy was only implemented in elementary and middle schools.

Vice Chairperson Bill Little suggested that the board waive the first and second reading of the revision and go to the final reading since the only change to the policy was to add high school students to the guidelines.

Little also added that it would allow more time for students and parents to prepare for the change.

The uniform requirements for high school students will begin in the 2007-2008 school year.

Superintendent Gibson reported the school system has improved 37 points on their school bus inspection.

A banner to be used to promote Northampton County Schools was unveiled. The Northampton County Education Foundation donated the money for the banner, which displays students of the schools with the backdrop of Lake Gaston.

The second reading of the whistle blower policy was approved and will allow the installation of a dedicated phone line for individuals to call in to report illegal activities and practices.

Board members also approved the first reading of the proposed 2007-2008 calendar.

The board discussed a recent legislative bill that if passed would begin the school year a week earlier, which would allow students to get their exams in before the Christmas holidays.

Tyner noted that if the bill was passed another calendar would need to be formulated.

Students of the Month were honored at the meeting, including Brittany Creecy of Northampton County High School-East, Brittany Rook of Northampton County High School-West, Qytekkia Harris of Conway Middle School, Mariah Vincent of Gaston Middle School, Jaleen Williams of Central Elementary School, Nyasiah Mallory of Garysburg Elementary School, Hakeem Bell of Willis Hare Elementary School, Katerryra Grant of Rich Square-W.S. Creecy Elementary School, Shikerra Hedgepeth of Squire Elementary School and Donald Bishop of Northampton Alternative School.