Durkin Says Changes Underway At Keith Middle School
Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin says discipline in New Bedford Public Schools is a "shared responsibility" that involves students, teachers, administrators and parents, and that no one person can solve all the issues.
Durkin told WBSM News on Thursday, some changes are already underway at Keith Middle School, where reports of student disruptions have been on the rise.
The Superintendent says there are now three Assistant Principals at Keith, and one will be assigned to each floor of the school to work directly with teachers on discipline issues.
Principal Paula Bailey will also be visiting each classroom said Durkin, standing with teachers and outlining what teachers and administrators expect from students and explaining the consequences for improper behavior.
Dr. Durkin also said Principal Bailey is also meeting with small groups of parents to review discipline rules
Durkin stated the school department has consequences for any type of behavior issue, but admits sometimes it is not enforced. She said in a district with 13,000 students and with so much to do, consistent enforcement doesn't always happen. Durkin says her goal is consistent punishment in every school. .
The Superintendent indicated she was disturbed about "the culture of blame" on display at Monday night's School Committee meeting. She suggested instead of blaming others, the community should be working together to resolve discipline issues in schools
Ironically, about 30 minutes after Durkin's interview ended with WBSM, there was a report of a fight outside New Bedford High School.
School spokesman Jon Carvalho confirmed that an altercation took place involving several people. He could not confirm whether students were involved, but said School Resource Officers from both the High School and Keith responded.
New Bedford Police had no information about any arrests.