A Pennsylvania high school is issuing more than 500 suspension notices to students who have skipped up to a week’s worth of classes, reports Fox News.
The Harrisburg High School send the notifications to students this week because they had accumulated too many unexcused absences on their record. It is part of the school district’s new measure to avoid unexplained and unnecessary absences in high schools.
Most parents were unaware that their children were missing so much class. After all, most parents of teens will watch them to go school and just assume that they are at school.
This was the principal’s way of reaching out to parents because she noticed that there was a dramatic number of students not attending classes, while parents thought they were.
Students have been seen going to the school, but are seen then skipping class or loitering in the hallways. Therefore, the high school felt that it was time for dramatic measures.
At least 100 of the students received a one-day suspension notice, while others are receiving harsher punishments. The Principal, Lisa Love, said that school officials are working with parents to provide them with documentation, and if the parents can justify or give a justifiable reason, then they will withdrawal the suspension notifications for those students.
The school has only 1,100 students, so almost half have received suspension notifications.
However, the principal feels that students must focus on achievement, and to do that, they need to show up to class. So, her radical idea is her way of ensuring more students make it to class and that parents are more accountable for the whereabouts and actions of their teenagers.
Love made it clear that they do not like to suspend students, and that they do not like using suspensions as a means of punishment. However, they need students to realize that school is a priority and that education, not fun, should be considered first. Therefore, she feels they needed a more radical approach if they were going to get students to understand the consequences of their actions.
Parents in Outrage
Most of the parents would disagree with Love’s perception. In fact, many have not taken much affection to the policy, and more than 100 parents have met with her to discuss the suspension measure. One parent stated that they did not feel the principal would be successful with this mass suspension, and many are going to the district school board to protest the action.
However, the School Superintendent, Sybil Knight-Burney, has stood behind the high school’s decision to suspend, saying that students and parents needed a wake-up call to what was going on and what they needed to do if they were to take education more seriously. The school district believes that if they are going to get different results, they need more dramatic action — and this is certainly one way to get attention.