The Student News Site of GlenOak High School

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

To punish or to not punish

Punishment at GlenOak

A student skips class, takes his or her spearmint breeze out for a quick puff, or in a moment of rage yells at a teacher. Anyone who has attended a school has seen all of these things and many of them result in disciplinary action from the school.

However, it’s no longer so simple as simple suspension or detention.  Over the last three years, GlenOak has worked to create new programs on how it addresses discipline.

Principal Gayle Kimbrough and the administration team have implemented discipline and punishment tactics for kids who have been caught breaking the rules above and many others, the administration has been changing the way that they go about discipline and punishment to make the school a safer and better place; there is still some room for improvement as well.

Story continues below advertisement

Kimbrough took her role as head principal in the 2021-22 school year. Kimbrough has been making discipline changes to the school to improve GlenOak. A few of the ways that Kimbrough has approached this, is by making sure to provide positive reinforcement to the students and encouraging student-teacher connections.

“Me and my team work to help students take pride in themselves and our school by recognizing positive behavior,” Kimbrough said. “Making sure our culture is a place of learning with high expectations of respect for all.”

The administration has been working to try and reduce suspensions at the school. Kimbrough put in certain programs and methods like SOAR expectations, Sources of Strength and Student Ambassadors to welcome new students and to help positive reinforcement in the school.

“We have a new program in place for anyone who is caught with contraband, instead of an automatic 10-day[suspension] it is a five-day program then has meetings with principals and counselors and after-school consequences till five o’clock,” freshman guidance counselor Tim McKean said.

The school put these programs into place so that the administrative staff have ways to keep kids out of trouble and away from the threat of suspension. The administration has been cracking down harder on kids skipping, vaping and fights in school and their efforts have been noticed.

“We have a positive student-centered environment. There are non-negotiable expectations of behavior, particularly when it comes to our school safety,”  Kimbrough said. “It is a priority for me to uphold my duty to keep our learning environment safe and respectful for everyone.”

When there are so many students, the administration has to make sure that everyone is practicing safe behaviors and upholding the rules. Kimbrough also wants to be sure that everyone is treated equally when it comes to the disciplinary action that needs to be taken.
The school has a program for students who are suspended so they can still do school work and go to school after the school day is over; called alternative schooling.

“[GlenOak High School] Alt school is an educational setting designed to meet the academic needs of a student while helping them get back on track to [a] successful transition back to the traditional school setting,” curriculum coordinator and ALT School Administrator. Jill Downing said.

GlenOak staff members are assigned to serve as coach for each student. They work together to establish weekly goals for classwork completion that are reviewed daily.

English teacher Susan Barry has been teaching for 25 years and has seen many changes in student behavior over the years.

“I think much of that is tied to changes in society and technology. As a result, our challenges in dealing with student behavior have changed, but I think we are adapting and adjusting,” Barry said.
Barry notes that discipline and maintaining an educational environment is important for student learning.
“We are always striking a balance between respecting students, understanding the reasons for the behavior issues, and maintaining an educational environment. In recent years we have put many people and structures in place to tackle those problems, and I think we are doing a commendable job in dealing with the ever-changing challenges we face,” Barry said.

Furthermore, in any good system, there are always places that could be improved upon. Barry wishes there were more people to monitor certain areas of the school but it can be difficult for the school to decide between spending funds on monitoring vs. education.

“We all work very hard to do everything we can to ensure students are being taken care of educationally, physically and emotionally. I honestly don’t know of any other group of people that works as hard as we do, and I think our efforts show most recently in the school environment and the relationships we have with our students, staff, and administrators,” Barry said.

The administration at the end of the day wants GlenOak to thrive and prosper as a great school and make sure that every student and staff member that attends the high school is safe and protected.

 

Donate to The Eagle
$516
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of GlenOak High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
John Mitchell, Staff Writer
John Mitchell (he/him) is a sophomore. This is his first year on staff, he's involved in coaching k-1 flag football, he's in the student council and social justice. He likes to read, write, and adventure.
Donate to The Eagle
$516
$500
Contributed
Our Goal