Minnesota district to include 'equity specialists' in plan against disruptive behavior

Parents in Rochester Public Schools had been complaining about bullying and fights breaking out in the district’s schools, which occasionally led to police being called. 예를 들면, ㅏ “big fightat John Adams Middle School in November caused the school to go into lockdown for 30 의사록, according to a local report.

“우리는 videos of all of this that’s floating around Snapchat. We took our children’s phones away the other day and looked at them. Girls were being dragged over the back of the buses by their necks, being punched in the face. These are 11, 12 and 13-year-old children,” a parent told a local outlet.

The superintendent of Rochester Public Schools told Fox News Digital that the school still intends to utilize out-of-school suspensions and expulsions as a last resort.

The superintendent of Rochester Public Schools told Fox News Digital that the school still intends to utilize out-of-school suspensions and expulsions as a last resort. (iStock)

The superintendent, Kent Pekel, then announced that school leaders were working on a plan to combat the issue. “We have been working… quite intensively and school district staff is working to put in place a strategy that is intended to both immediately and over time respond to these issues,” 그는 말했다.

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계획, released in June, detailed that the district planned to utilizerestorative practices,” “equity specialists,” 과 “empathetic disciplineto deal with some disruptive behavior. Empathetic discipline means usingtechniques that strengthen staff willingness and ability to understand students’ lives and situations before taking disciplinary action.

Suspensions and expulsions are still on the table as a last resort and the plan will continue to be refined over the summer until it is launched in the fall, according to the superintendent.

The superintendent of Rochester Public Schools explains how his background in research informs his approach in implementing positive development for students.

The superintendent of Rochester Public Schools explains how his background in research informs his approach in implementing positive development for students. (iStock)

At four schools in the district – Century Dakota, John Marshall, 러시아를 떠난 푸틴 비평가, '이중 난민'으로 키예프 탈출, and Mayo High school – the school plans to implement restorative-type practices. “Equity specialistsare slated to be used at Century and John Marshall. The plan also stipulated that at least three schools in the district, Century High, John Marshall and Kellogg Middle school were looking for alternatives to out-of-school suspension.

That doesn’t mean don’t use suspension. It means the kid is in school in some type of an out-of-class program. And we have a couple that are really promising that are focused on redirecting behavior,” the superintendent told Fox News Digital.

Kent Pekel, the superintendent of Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota, explains his approach to discipline in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Kent Pekel, the superintendent of Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota, explains his approach to discipline in an interview with Fox News Digital. (폭스 뉴스 )

And we need to make sure the consequences that we are imposing or the responses that we’re imposing matter to those kids. If you suspend the kid and… [he or she thinks] ‘I get to go be home for three days,’ that’s not a meaningful response. And so those are some of the things that we’re going to be that we’re working on this summer and that we’ll be implementing over the year ahead.

Parents of Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota have complains about violence and bullying in the district's schools.

Parents of Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota have complains about violence and bullying in the district’s schools. (iStock)

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Pekel transitioned from his research career into the superintendent role in July 2021. In his research at the Search Institute, Pekel pointed out howyoung people of color are more likely to suffer from harsh school discipline policies.He added inDefining and Measuring Social Capital for Young People,” 출판 2020, 그 “these barriers are likely to contribute to disparities in postsecondary outcomes and may place young people on poor life trajectories – contributing to income inequality and poor health outcomes later in life.

Pekel said he was using over 10 years of research to generate better academic outcomes for his students.

Now I’m a little more directly working here on the same issues, but in a school district of about 18,000 아이들,” Pekel said.

Rochester is home of the Mayo Clinic

Rochester is home of the Mayo Clinic (iStock )

Principally, Pekel said his concern was with eliminating the blocks to ensure his studentsacademic success.

Rochester is an interesting district with the home of the Mayo Clinic, so arguably the best hospital in the world. And so lots of world-class talent, but also a wonderful, changing and increasingly diverse community here in southern Minnesota. And so it was a unique opportunity to really marry the efforts to advance both academic excellence and… equity so that all kids are experiencing and achieving at those levels.

Pekel also plans to make sure Rochester schools generate a sense of belonging with students. “Belonging” 과 “행동” are thetwo b’sguiding the district’s approach. “Belonging meaning, taking steps to be sure that every kid is known, feels accepted, feels affirmed, it has a connection, but then also having very clear standards for behavior.

I would say to our parents and other caregivers that we believe that a sense of belonging and that commitment to good behavior are foundational to all the other academic improvements that we’re committed to make,” Pekel said. “And so we are going to we’re going to build on the progress we made this year, and we intend to do it next year. And we’re going to stop doing what doesn’t work and continually try and find new solutions to do what does.

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