Late Wednesday afternoon educators with the Jackson Federation of Teachers, Para-Professionals and School-Related Personnel held a news conference to present the findings of a survey on ‘Positive Behavior Invention Supports’, a policy meant to reform discipline procedures.
Under the PBIS policy, practices like out of school suspension are discouraged. It’s something the federation says is contributing to misleading figures when it comes to disruptive behavior in the classroom.
During the news conference, educator Todd Allen said, “I just don’t think there was a revival across Jackson Public Schools that swept through and caused all the kids to change their behavior by 90%”
The 20 question survey found that over 61% feel that schools don’t give adequate alternatives to detention, suspension, and expulsion, while almost 50% feel that PBIS is not an appropriate strategy.
And, only 37.5% say they’ve been trained by the district on handling student violence and bullying.
Allysha Patrick, also an educator in Jackson said, “These teachers are coming together to share their stories in an attempt to correct the imbalances and the injustices that are occurring.”
Allen added, “As a result of this attempt to move the pendulum from over-policing… now it’s under-policing.”
In response, Sherwin Johnson, Spokesperson for Jackson Public Schools points out that this survey was done without the approval of the school district, however, Union President Bergie Jones says that’s nothing new.
Johnson says, “We’re here to find solutions. it’s true that we do have some discipline issues in JPS, but we’re working to address those, but the vast majority of students are not misbehaving.”