North Charleston High School’s new discipline plan aims to reduce suspensions

VIDEO: North Charleston High School’s new discipline plan aims to reduce suspensions

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston High School has a new discipline plan for students that may end up reducing the number of suspensions and expulsions at the school.

Henry Darby, the principal at North Charleston high, says they were given permission from the Charleston County School District and school board to withdraw from the district’s progressive discipline plan.

Instead, the school developed their own plan based on community input from all stakeholders.

The idea was to use mentors for all lower-level offenses.

“Before a child would be suspended for cutting class. [Now] that child will have a mentor for all our level 1 offenses,” Darby said. “As opposed to just suspending a child, a child will be mentored and be given a variety of means to correct his or her behavior.”

The school is working with a “Combined Intervention” organization that provides mentors for the students. These mentors are known for going out into the community and talking to young men in areas plagued by violence.

Darby says the plan caters to the student demographics at the school who may have to babysit their siblings or have parents who work multiple jobs.

“Our discipline plan allows flexibility for us to really understand what is really going on,” he said.

At the same time, the new plan provides clear consequences for students who may have higher level offenses. For example, if a student brings drugs to school, Darby says they will recommend that student be sent to an alternative school.

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