An audacious move by a high school principal to suspend half of her student body reveals a disturbing trend that challenges the common liberal narrative on education.
In a daring move, newly appointed principal Lisa Love issued suspension notices to nearly half of her student population at Harrisburg High School, which has long suffered from poor test scores and low graduation rates. This decision left many in disbelief, questioning how so many students could have merited the same punishment. The rationale behind the suspensions, however, left everyone in awe.
Having only been in her position for a few months, Principal Love quickly observed a disturbing pattern: a majority of the students had accumulated an alarming number of unexcused absences. She recognized that a radical change was necessary to address this issue and improve the overall school environment.
Principal Love remarked, “The problem I’ve noticed here as principal is that students are coming to school but they are not going to classes when they get here,” as reported by PennLive.
She continued, “Many parents send their kids to school and they’re thinking they’re going to class. I needed to reach out because of the enormous number not going to class.”
Taking a stand against this troubling trend, Love suspended every student with an excessive amount of unexcused absences. She firmly believed that academic achievement could not improve if students were unwilling to attend their classes.
“If you’re not in class, all you’re here to do then is to wreak havoc upon the school and disrupt the work that we are trying to do here…to focus on student achievement,” Love stated, according to ABC27. She added, “And a lot of times doing transformational work means that you have to do some radical things to get the attention of parents and the community and students.”
Assistant Principal Keith Edmonds explained that the threshold for “excessive” absences, which led to the suspension, was set at 35 missed classes within a 45-day marking period without proper documentation. Essentially, this equates to a week’s worth of missed classes or seven classes per day in a five-day week.
It was discovered that students would loiter in restrooms and vacant areas of the school to avoid class, successfully concealing their absences from their parents. Edmonds noted, “Right now, the process is just to weed out where our issues are so that we can properly address them.”
Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney supported Principal Love’s bold decision, describing it as a much-needed “wake-up call” for parents in a school district where the graduation rate is over 30% lower than the statewide average.
“In order for us to get different results, we have to do something different,” said Knight-Burney. “We can’t do the same ol’ same ol’ and then complain about it when we’re getting the same ol’ results.” Indeed, repeating the same actions and expecting different outcomes is the definition of insanity.
Principal Love acknowledged the difficulty of her decision, saying, “I had to get the attention of the community to let them know that we are here. And we’re about to do some wonderful things for students and the community, and we want this to be a school that everyone is proud of. And this was probably the eye-opener we needed to make that happen.”
The alarmingly low graduation rate in this demographic is likely a consequence of insufficient parental involvement. It appears that many parents of Harrisburg High students are completely unaware of their children’s daily activities. The hundreds of suspensions should serve as a dire wake-up call that these parents desperately need.
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