Discipline for one, discipline for all

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in 2011 pointing out the in- creasing numbers in minority ... deal with me or my actions, and I get that I haven't ... me out, but nothing changed.” While in 2011 the ...

Discipline for one, discipline for all Martin administration makes effort to be sure consequences are fair and equal Michael Sandoval•Reporter Sophomore Keric Cunningham feels misunderstood.    Some of his teachers, he said, have mistaken his energy for disrespect, and that has landed him in OCS several times.     As an African-American student, Cunningham is part of the large number of minority students who make up OCS. But since the Texas Education Agency sent AISD a letter in 2011 pointing out the increasing numbers in minority students taking up the spaces in OCS, the district has made efforts to decrease that number.    “Having been in and out of OCS since elementary school, I’ve always believed that teachers just don’t understand me,” Cunningham said. “Teachers have never had the patience to deal with me or my actions, and I get that I haven’t always deserved to be listened to, but at times I’ve attempted my best

just to have a teacher not give me a second chance or to hear me out, but nothing changed.”     While in 2011 the number of students who were expelled from AISD went all the way down to zero, the number of minority students put in OCS didn’t start to drop until three years ago.     “There’s no getting around the fact that for a long time the numbers showed that we had an uncomfortable number of minority students in OCS,” Assistant principal Robin Griffith-Yates said. “But over the last six years we’ve made drastic changes in the way we approach our students and how we deal with students acting out.”    Administrators said that data pointing at minorities filling the On Campus Suspension rooms doesn’t necessarily mean that we have a race problem

in Arlington ISD, but they do show we need to build better relationships.   “Being an assistant principal, I do see the numbers and I also know what most people think when they see them,” assistant principal Mychl Buckley said. “But in my opinion, the statistics are the way they are because of lack of communication or relationships between students and teachers who come from different backgrounds.”     Communication between teachers and students is important, especially in taking into account a student’s actions, according to security officer Jay Jenkins.       “Coming from a rough environment, I’ve seen the socalled bad kids all my life and have gotten the opportunity to get to know some of them,” Jenkins said. “Except in reality, those kids are screaming out for help because something’s bothering them and don’t know how to deal with it.”     Over the last six years,

art by Binh Le

administration has taken on the task of building better relationships with students of all backgrounds. Teachers have the option to attend tutorials or workshops on how to be more patient with students who don’t always voice their worries or troubles.     “We now have a system we ask teachers to use before they decide students need to be taken out of a learning environment,” Griffith-Yates said. “Teachers are asked to converse with the student, find out their reasoning for acting out, and attempt to connect with the student to a point in which they don’t feel as if they are disliked.”

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