Watson Chapel School District employees took part in training Friday on positive behavior intervention and support in advance of students returning to class on Monday. Positive behavior intervention and support is a mindset through which educators show discipline.
These developments arose from a lawsuit that was filed in 1970 involving allegations against the district concerning alleged discrimination against black students in administering discipline. The United States Department of Justice has been monitoring the district. The Watson Chapel School District entered into a consent agreement with the Department of Justice in December 2016 by which the district did not admit it was discriminating against anyone.
As part of this consent order, the district is implementing positive behavior intervention and support. The Watson Chapel School District employs four behavior interventionists, who are being paid by grant money from the Arkansas Department of Education. Watson Chapel Superintendent Connie Hathorn said positive behavior intervention and support centers on building relationships with students. It is designed to be proactive rather than reactive.
“We are trying to build relationships with students and we’ll all be on the same page with not on how we discipline students but how we work with students,” Hathorn said. “All the students bring something different to school. We are putting programs in place where teachers, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and secretaries learn how to treat kids and help kids to grow not so much academically but emotionally and socially.”
Parker Education & Development chief executive officer Todd Parker conducted the training. He discussed scenarios in which unruly students caused problems and asked teachers how they would respond. He discussed students cursing at teachers and the best way to be in control of a…