When one hears the phrase “school discipline,” the first image many people get in their heads is that of a teacher with a paddleboard in her hands.
But a paradigm shift is taking place at Thomas Hunter Middle School, where discipline is no longer synonymous with punishment, and students are empowered to take responsibility for their own actions, as well as those of their peers and the entire school community—and the Mathews school is reaping positive results.
Principal Laurel Byrd gave a presentation on restorative practices during Tuesday night’s Mathews County School Board meeting, which was held in the Mathews High School media center.
“When a kid is making trouble and you have suspended him for three days, what have you done?” Byrd said. The student may likely look at that as a three-day vacation from school and little else.
Instead, teachers and administrators at THMS are working to make the student see the consequences of his actions,...
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