In an effort to work towards reforming troubled students more effectively, one West Virginia middle school has developed and implemented a new approach.
Huntington East Middle School, in Huntington, West Virginia, has implemented what they are calling “reverse suspension”. The administrators have stated they believe this new method of disciplinary action will prove more effective with the more troubled students.
Basically, any non-violent, non-verbally abusive types of behavior are handled by way of offering the child’s parents the option of “reverse suspension”. This form of action is unique in that instead of simply sending the offending student home for the day, instead, the parents are invited to come to school with the student and spend the entire day by the student’s side.
School parent partner Stephanie Powell told WOWK-TV, that when they combined two middle schools into one a few years back, that they were having a lot of problems with the students getting into trouble, which in turn resulted in an increase in suspensions.
Justin Young, a student at Huntington East, spoke of how the new program helped him personally:
“I was suspended multiple times last year. But this year, not once.”
He went on to explain that when he and his mother got home from his reverse suspension, she sat him down and had a talk with him. She flat out asked him if he acted, when she wasn’t around like he did when she was at the school. He simply told her no, because he wanted to be good for her.
Principal Frank Barnett stated that the program is doing better than expected, having reduced suspensions by two thirds, as well as bad behavior incidents by half.
Barnett did emphasize that the school continues to address any incident on a case by case basis, but so far the new reverse suspension program is getting a lot done in the way of helping the students involved.