The Richmond County School Board recently voted to put students to work as a form of discipline. They're calling the program alternative discipline.
Deputy Superintendent, Tim Spivey, explains "alternative discipline is a way to cut down out of school suspensions or even in school suspensions by allowing students to come on a Saturday and do some supervised work around the school."
Spivey says the program will be offered for all grades, but will target high school students who have less than 10 days of in or out of school suspension. He says the principal at each school will have the discretion to determine when and how long the work will be done.
Spivey says giving students the option to do community service like scraping gum off desks or picking up trash could keep them in schools. And residents say they agree with that.
Parent, Paula Heiselman, says suspensions are not only problematic for the students.
"It's inconvenient as a parent for the school to call and say 'oh your kids have misbehaved and we're going to send em home.' Or 'your kids have to stay late and then you have to find an alternative," she explains.
She says as long as the alternative is productive, she's on-board with it.
"If it means kids being sent out to pick up the trash on the school yard or wash the blackboards, or clean the desks or help with filing, I will be for it," she adds.
Deputy Superintendent Spivey says although the idea is in the early stages, they do expect to debut the program this academic year.
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