Parents asking for suspensions to be shortened

Published 2:56 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008

By Staff
Want their children to continue their education this year
Senior Reporter
Some parents of students suspended after a Jan. 18 fight at Southside High School want those long-term suspensions reduced.
Their requests were made at the Beaufort County Board of Education’s meeting Monday night.
She said animosity between generations of Aurora and Chocowinity students has been going on for years.
Harvey told the board that Concerned Parents for the Betterment of the Beaufort County School System is made up of parents from Aurora and Chocowinity who have children in the school system.
Judy Tetterton told the board that she and other parents with children who attend Southside High School “do not condone” actions of students involved in the fight.
She said the concerned parents are “trying to better the world.”
Jennifer Spencer told the board she wants her “child to get back in school.”
Spencer said she wants her daughter to be taken off of long-term suspension so she can graduate.
Wayland Whitley said he is “concerned” about violence on school grounds and what is going to be done about it.
Raising another issue, Whitley said the “situation of black teachers in the schools needs to be addressed … we need to fix it.”
Whitley said black teachers in Beaufort County are “an endangered species.”
Whitley said the absence of black teachers in the school system will affect black students “for the next 100 years.”
Board Chairman Robert Belcher said the board needs time to discuss and deliberate issues and concerns voiced by parents and others.
Long-term suspensions usually expire at the end of a school year. The school system’s superintendent has final say on long-term suspensions. Short-term suspensions usually are imposed for a maximum of 10 days. Not all students involved in the fight received long-term suspensions.
A long-term suspension may be appealed to the school system’s suspension committee, which would make a recommendation concerning the suspension to the superintendent. A student on long-term suspension could be offered a chance to finish his or her school year at the Beaufort County Ed-Tech Center. Other options include the possibility of completing the school year in a home-schooling situation or working with a tutor at a site away from the student’s school. Other options are available, if the superintendent deems them appropriate.
Those options allow a student to remain on track for promotion to the next grade or graduation from high school.
In other business, the board unanimously approved submitting a grant application for money to begin planning for the early-college/high school program the school system wants to establish on the campus of Beaufort County Community College.
The school would have 200 students at its peak enrollment. It would begin its first year with 60 students. It would add 40 students each year thereafter until it reaches a student population of 200.