shut up and get to class

Silence is golden at T.T. Knight Middle School

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) — Simply talking in the hall can land students at one school in detention.  The principal says it’s a move to keep kids out of trouble, but one parent says it’s not working.

Many of us remember the olden days at school — the bell rings, a mob hits the halls, and then there was five minutes to see friends, get gossip, and get to your next class.  At T.T. Knight Middle School, those days are gone.

“I think it’s unfair,” says student D.J. Herm.

Silence is the rule there, because, as Principal Faith Stroud puts it, “I am a principal that uses data.”  She installed hallway cameras in October and found that sometimes bullying and fights start there between classes.

In January she cracked down:  “We have a structured protocol in place.  When it’s time to dismiss the students, line up single-file one behind another, and the teacher actually escorts them from class to class.”

Some kids are passing by while others are still in class.  If they talk they can get detention.  D.J. Herm says, “When I got detention I think seven or six other kids got it as well.” He received three detentions in two weeks.

D.J.’s father Don Herm says, “When you get a call from school, you’re usually expecting the worst. Your kid’s sick, or hurt, or they did something terribly bad.  But when you get a call and the teacher says he has detention because he said ‘Hi’ to a friend in the hallways, you’re kind of like, you know, isn’t there more important things they need to be looking at in the schools?”

Principal Stroud says this is part of a larger effort to turn things around at Knight.  The state labeled it a persistently low achieving school because of poor test scores.  “We’ve reduced the number of suspensions,” the principal says.

I’m surprised that this surprises people.  The focus of public school has always been getting all children to think, act and in some cases dress the same.  Preparing them for a life of drone work. In order to accomplish this, they need continued funding from the state and feds who base EVERYTHING on standardized test scores (re:  testing how well the student population thinks in a standardized way).  I applaud the growing home-schooling movement, one of the few efforts focused on giving our kids some glimmer of independent thought.  As one CNN blog commenter put it, “What’s next, orange jump suits and shackles?”




Filed under america, children, education, news

13 responses to “shut up and get to class

  1. i see my son’s 6th grade teacher got her principal’s certificate and found a job in KY. i got a call from her because my son didn’t stay in line while going to recess, because he was fiddling around with the football he was going to take outside. i told her i was so happy for her because this meant she obviously didn’t have any students who displayed real behavioral problems or outright defiance or disrespect.

    in defense of public school…there are some excellent programs and teachers out there. there are some horrors too, and we can all come up with examples. it’s the same with homeschooling. i’ve seen some people homeschooling who have absolutely no business doing so and who are doing their children a terrible disservice, crippling them really. likewise i have seen others who do such a magnificent job it leaves me in awe.

    of course, as bad as i thought our last governor was over the defunding of libraries our current governor is far worse as he has continued that and cut state funding of public school by $1 billion with proposals for even more next year. he seems quite determined to drive the public school system right into the ground. then the only people who will get a respectable education are the ones who can afford to send their kids to a good private school or keep one parent (who is hopefully well-equipped) home to homeschool. good job, gov.

  2. I agree that there are some outstanding teachers in the public school system. More often than not, their excellence is steamrolled by the system….

  3. What a great way to equip the children with interpersonal skills. o.O

    I am not smart enough, nor make enough money to quit my job to home-school my kids. Though I’ve really considered it a few times. Especially in the last year… sheesh.

  4. Sharon

    What Faith Stroud,principal at T.T. Knight & Shalonda Gregory,vice principal fail to understand is that they are the biggest bullies in the hallways of the school. I have a daughter attending Knight. She feels like every morning I am forcing her to go to prison or worse Hell. I don’t think the test scores will ever improve unless the atmosphere does,so here’s to another failing year.

    • it’s a tired old solution for whatever issues exist…punish everyone because we don’t have the smarts, energy, capacity to address the real issue. It’s sad.

      • Sharon

        It is very sad,especially for the students. They have to live it now & will have miserable things to remember later.

  5. As a homeschooler who now has a kid in public high school and the other still studying at home, I am going to say this;
    when I rule the world… parents will be required to assist at their child’s school for 6 hours a semester. They could do it all on one day or on lunch breaks, etc. over the course of the term (and when I rule the world employers would be required to work with employees on this scheduling).

    I believe parental involvement is critical. Teachers and principals today are expected to play the role of parents, law enforcement, educators, and social workers. They can’t do all of that. Bullying and fighting is a behavior issue and I believe those fall primarily in the purview of parents, not educators.
    I agree that principal appears to have lost her mind but why aren’t parents stepping forward to volunteer time and help patrol halls so this policy is pointless? If these parents object to the policy (and I would), I believe they need to solve the problem that inspired such a reaction.

    • Said much more eloquently than I. You rock!!!!!

    • Sharon

      Ok,I have volunteered in this miserable hellhole, I spent over 5 hours setting up for,working in & cleaning up a book fair. The principal refused to speak to me when I entered the building. A “hello” would have been nice. Then spent the rest of the evening looking down her nose at me. She says she wants parental involvement,but when you try to help out or speak to her she makes it very obvious she could care less about you or your opinion. She doesn’t allow anyone to ‘patrol the halls” as you have suggested,because she believes that would be disruptive. She has her precious tape lines & VP screaming over the intercom for that. At this point,I will not be giving Knight any of my time or money. We have thrown away fundraisers. If they don’t want our opinions,they don’t need our help. In the past couple weeks,behavior issues have incrased rather than decrease,so I hope maybe a couple brain cells will bump together enough for someone to see this isn’t working.

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