Roughly two dozen Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) students have been identified as the proverbial bad apples among the entire student population.
Student indiscipline has been a public concern in recent times because of a series of public fights, reported shoplifting, and other deviant behaviours among ESHS students.
Principal Sandy Underhill said while indiscipline has been a longstanding problem at the school, only a small number of select students are the recurring troublemakers.
“Right now our school enrolment is around 1,200 and you will find that it’s two percent. I know that sounds weird considering how magnified everything is in the news. But you have two percent or less of our student population [that is undisciplined],” Underhill said.
“I became principal in 2014 and for the most part, it’s the same students with the exception where one or two now added themselves because they are now friends of a particular person or persons who were already involved in negative behaviour. So, you see a pattern of ongoing or repeated negative behaviour by the same students,”
“What that tells us is that we need to continue to try to reach out to the families and those students, especially with regards to intervention. That is my goal as principal. It is not about suspension and that is something I want to make clear,” said Underhill.
She noted that the school only resorts to suspending students when it believes there is a “threat to other students”.
“Secondly, [a student may be suspended] because he/she did something wrong. The message has to be sent not only to the student who did something wrong but to the other students that if they do something wrong, there is a consequence,” the high school principal said.
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