School fights prompt superintendent to create new program
11:08 PM, Sep 8, 2010
11:18 PM, Sep 8, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Sick and tired of in-school fights and bad behavior, Kansas City
Public Schools superintendent is trying to knock problems out high
school classrooms. Despite funding issues, the district is planning
to start a new, half-million dollar alternative program at Manual
Tech High School.
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“If the students fight, they’re out,” said Dr.
John Covington, superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools.
Some students and parents claim fighting, during the first two
weeks of school, is not rare at Southwest Early College Campus
“They had fights day one, the first day of school,”
said Patricia Tivis, a parent. “There’s basically about
a fight every day up here.”
“The problems were not sparked by the students themselves,
but were sparked by the students’ parents who went onto the
campus to engage in inappropriate behavior,” Dr. Covington
SWECC has 1,600 students, according to district officials. High
enrollment seems to be a factor to parents and Dr. Covington.
Two weeks into school, some kids run rampant in hallways and
skip class, Dr. Covington said. Southwest is not alone, though.
With high school enrollment up across the district, other schools
have similar problems with overage students.
“They are 18, 19, and in some cases 20-year-old,”
Dr. Covington said. “There are some 17-year-olds who have
only acquired to date maybe two, three or four credits. We know
that those kids are not going to be successful in
To fix it, the district plans to unveil the Options Program.
Starting Monday, 100 students will move into Manual Tech. The kids,
grades 7 through 12, will be selected by their principals based on
academic or behavioral issues.
As a result, more teachers, possibly some laid off earlier this
year, will be hired.
“They’re going to look for those teachers that
really want to work with those kids and if they do that, this
should be a good program,” said Andrea Flinders, president of
the teacher’s union.