Aiken County superintendent praises Code of Conduct revisions, says he’s not involved in disciplinary process

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AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – WJBF NewsChannel 6 continues to investigate the discipline process in Aiken County Schools.

WJBF NewsChannel 6 began our investigation by looking at the root of the discipline process, the Student Code of Conduct.

Aiken County students started the school year with more than just new school supplies.

“Well we do have a new code of conduct,” said Merry Glenne Piccolino, Aiken County Public School Director of Communications.

In a letter to administrators, the superintendent says “the county’s recent effort to review the discipline code was a major step in the right direction.”

“I want to make sure, just for clarity sake, as a superintendent I have no place in discipline. Absolutely not.” Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “I did not participate as a member of the committee that reviewed and made the changes to the discipline code.”

The restructured Student Code of Conduct was also accompanied by a new philosophy of shifting the focus from punishing bad behavior to rehabilitation.

“Because of that it’s causing more issues for the teachers to be able to get a grip over things,” said Sumer McCollum, a parent. “If the superintendent is going, no you have to talk to administration before you do anything.”

It’s a problem many parents have voiced their concerns about at town hall meetings.

WJBF NewsChannel 6 has obtained several statements from teachers that expose the reality of the new philosophy.

The letters also talk about the districts process for students who are recommended to alternative school.

Overall the district is reporting fewer expulsions and fewer fights this year compared to previous years, but WJBF NewsChannel 6 has uncovered there’s more to the numbers that just meets the eye.

“The girl who beat up on her, that whooped up on her should have been expelled because there was actions with that. I mean the concussion, the kidney bleed.” McCollum said.Coming up Wed., March 1st, on WJBF NewsChannel 6 at 6 find out how the superintendent played a role in the code of conduct revisions and hear the advice parents tell their children before they drop them off at school.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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