Thurman Says Discipline Real Problem In County Schools; Johnson Says His Focus Is Academic Improvement

Monday, October 14, 2019

County School Board member Rhonda Thurman said Monday that teachers are quitting the county schools because they face attacks from unruly students and they don't get backing from the administration.

Supt. Bryan Johnson said, "We absolutely have challenges," but he said he puts his focus on academic improvement. He said a disciplinary committee meeting took two hours, and he would like to "spend two hours on academic improvement."

Ms. Thurman shot back that if there were controls on the five percent of students who disrupt class that there would be a much better learning experience for the 95 percent of well-behaved students.

Officials said a new 38-page disciplinary code did not change any punishments, but sought to have more consistent discipline. It also is meant to capture more information about each offense and compile the overall date.

Officials said the system "has already been flagged by the Office of Civil Rights" on discipline patterns.

Board member Karitsa Mosley said the criticism was focused on students from poorer schools. She said, "It's browbeating the children. It's the negativity that gets all the attention."

Board member Joe Smith questioned reports in the news media about discipline in the schools and said the administration should publicly debunk any untrue report. He said, "All these terrible things being said and we're silent about it. If it's wrong (what is written and reported), then we ought to  confront the media." 

Supt. Johnson said, "I just stay focused on the children and what we're trying to accomplish." 

Ms. Thurman said, "I'm not going to call liars the teachers who call me crying and say they are going to leave and never come back again."

She told Dr. Johnson that "it's not a budget problem. It's not a taxpayer problem. I'm not going to blame it on not having enough money." She said current administrators should be able to properly back teachers.

Board member Tiffanie Robinson also said she had received "a number of calls that are really alarming" about classroom discipline problems. "I get calls from teachers who are frantic."

Steve Highlander, another board member, said, "When we have students (confronting) teachers, and they are only out of school one day, then that's a problem." 

He said, "I'm concerned about the retention of teachers, and I'm concerned that they are not being supported. A student who is cursing a teacher is disrupting the whole educational process."

Tucker McClendon said attacks on teachers had been going on in the county schools for years. He said when he was in high school he saw a teacher cursed, another punched, and another get his rotator cuff messed up by a student.

Ms. Thurman said, "If this has been going on for years, then I say shame on us."




Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Summer Meal Locations At Schools To Open Tuesday

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AKRIDGE, SHONTEKIA NICHOLE 2803 S Hawthorne St Chattanooga, 374045738 Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS ... (click for more)

Summer meal pickup sites available at Hamilton County Schools will start food service on Tuesday. These sites will be open on Tuesdays and Friday each week from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Each Tuesday, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AKRIDGE, SHONTEKIA NICHOLE 2803 S Hawthorne St Chattanooga, 374045738 Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRUCTION OF LEGAL PROCESS DISORDERLY CONDUCT PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- ANDERS, MARGARET NAOMI 407 CHAPMAN ST Athens, 373033828 Age ... (click for more)


Memorial Day Remembrance 2020

Perhaps the terrible toll that has engulfed the greater world community due to the black wave known as COVID 19 brings about an urgent sense of reflection and recollection on the true meaning of Memorial Day. One of the earliest commentaries was provided by Frederick Douglass at Arlington National Cemetery on Decoration Day 1871. He would extol to the crowd to never forget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: For Grins & Giggles

We know from many previous experiences that “An Idle Mind Is The Devil’s Workshop.” We also know that not one person in our nation could have been better prepared than our leaders from both parties in this COVID-19 pandemic. Guffaw and cackle all you want but I promise not a person in our state would pick you over Governor Bill Lee. It is terribly disappointing that every day somebody ... (click for more)


Fulmer Issues Statement On SEC Decision To Allow Return To Activity By Student-Athletes

Tennessee Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer provided the following response to the SEC decision to allow student-athletes to return to campuses: Southeastern Conference leadership on Friday voted to allow voluntary, in-person athletics activities on league campuses starting Monday, June 8. Each SEC institution will make localized decisions regarding when and how student-athletes ... (click for more)

Dan Fleser: Tennessee In Lock Step With New SEC Athletic Guidelines

KNOXVILLE – The Southeastern Conference will make its first move back toward the playing fields when it allows the resumption of voluntary in-person athletic activities on June 8 on campuses. Tennessee will be lockstep with this first step, which was approved via vote of the schools on Friday. “We’ll continue to follow the guidance from medical experts and health officials ... (click for more)