Behavior/Discipline, Budget, Teacher Shortage, Vision: 2020

Taking a Step Backwards – From a JCPS Student

This letter was presented by a JCPS student at today’s walk-in at Meyzeek. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Dear JCPS.

Dear JCPS,

Hello, my name is Neil Jacob. I’m an 8th grader here at Meyzeek and a student council representative. I’m here today to talk about the proposed changes to the code of conduct which we follow everyday, which will be reviewed over the next 6 weeks. Not only are we at risk, but our beloved teachers are being shot down too. On May 10th, the school board will vote on teacher salary reforms which will put a freeze on their salaries. No raises whatsoever.

What a step backwards we’ve taken. Having to be out here to plead for my education and safety is horrible. Being a JCPS student of nearly 9 years, I’ve seen my fair share of student disobedience. I’ll admit, many attempts to discipline the minuscule amount of unruly students has not worked. If I had a dollar for every vulgar word said or punch thrown in my school, I would have arrived here in a private helicopter. However, this has to be the most shocking jab at teaching kids what is right and wrong. Simply ignoring the situation is completely the wrong approach for shaping the future. You’re doing nobody any good by teaching unruly students that there are no consequences to misbehavior.

A school without discipline is no school of mine. What numbers we saw when campaigns against bullying were launched, students felt safe again. This feels like a leap into the past. A student who assaults another should not only be given a slap on the wrist. No repercussions for serious actions such as sexual assault and theft sounds counter intuitive.

And to our teachers, the educators who influence the lives of the students on a daily basis and stop at nothing to make sure no child has been deprived the opportunity for a sufficient education. Even though they are selfless, driven and motivated; they have the same needs as everybody else. Personally and professionally, they play a substantial role in the development of children of all ages, and deserve all the respect we can give. Instead of discussing how to freeze their salaries, we should be discussing how to raise them.

Thank you.

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