Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom

Lawmakers in Georgia are on the same page when it comes to school discipline. Both chambers of the General Assembly passed legislation to help reform classrooms into a positive learning environment for both teachers and students.

The bill gives teachers more power in the classroom to deal with students who continue to disrupt class. School administrators here say that's good news because disciplinary problems have become a burden on teachers statewide.

Thomasville High School principal Bobby Smith says one of the main things Gov. Perdue holds teachers accountable for is student test scores, but he says at times the environment interferes with the ability to get those scores to the highest level.

"Teachers all over the state are saying the same thing when he gets them together for at townhouse meetings. They all say we could do a lot better job if we had the five percent of our students that like to misbehave out of our classrooms," says Smith.

School discipline legislation is what Perdue says will empower teachers, by requiring a principal to agree with a teacher to remove disruptive students from class. Administration at Thomasville High say school discipline legislation in the state is a start, but individual school districts need a more uniform policy to deal with problem students.

Denise Fletcher, a 9th grade teacher at Thomasville High, says, "Every school system is different and teach to a different group of students the discipline problems we may have in this school aren't necessarily the same discipline problems someone else faces."

"Obviously someone who's restricting the teachers’ ability to teach because they're annoying other students or taking up too much of the teachers time, I'm sure that's what this legislation is aimed at," says Principal Bobby Smith.

Bobby Smith hopes giving teachers the upper hand will deter students from acting up and help students make better test scores, which of course has a direct affect on how a school system is graded.

There are still some final revisions to be made to the bill, but Gov. Perdue released a statement encouraging those differences to be worked out quickly so he can sign the bill and put it into action.


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