Cortez, CO: District "tackles student discipline"; SPED students need to be considered

April 5, 2018, Cortez (CO) Journal: Dolores school board tackles student discipline In a crowded public workshop on Wednesday, members of the Dolores School Board asked parents, students and interested citizens to weigh in on a new plan for student discipline. The board planned the event, which came just after a scheduled policy meeting, in response to a turbulent board meeting on March 8 in which parents and students voiced their frustration with the way the district administration handled an alleged student-on-student assault in February, as well as other ongoing problems with the schools. … The plan creates three primary goals for Dolores Secondary Schools: “increased consistency,” “increased parent communication” and “increased teacher/student support.” To achieve the goals, it separates student misbehaviors into minor, moderate and major offenses and gives teachers and staff guidelines on how to deal with each category. According to the plan, a student who committed a minor offense such as mild inappropriate language or talking out of turn, would return to class within the same period after talking with staff. Repeated minor offenses would be treated as moderate behavior problems and could result in detention. Major behavioral problems such as several forms of bullying, destruction of school property and criminal offenses would result in at least a one-day suspension. The principal would be required to notify law enforcement if a student was suspected of an illegal act, and all levels of inappropriate behavior require teachers to inform parents. … Former district parent Deanna Sullivan said she was concerned about the school’s approach to students who are on individualized education programs due to behavioral disabilities. Sullivan said withdrew her son, who has a disability, out of the district about a month ago after becoming frustrated with how he was treated. She was pleased that the new plan requires misbehaving students to be removed from the classroom, saying she hadn’t seen that kind of discipline enforced before.